Alan Jackson lamented the state of the music he loves during a recent interview by declaring that "country music is gone -- and it's not coming back."
Jackson, a longtime champion of the traditional country sounds of such heroes as Merle Haggard and George Jones, opened up about the current state of country in a chat with Hits Daily Double's Holly Gleason.
"It's like the 1980s again," Jackson said. "I'm 62 years old; I'm not some 30-year-old stud. It's not the same, but somebody has to bring it back, because it's not just people in their 50s, it's people in their 20s, too. All the kids and young people around my house? The older they've got, the more hardcore and traditional what they've leaned into has become. It's not old-school, it's the real school. And I'm kinda pissed off ... about what's happened to the format, or whatever they wanna call it."
Jackson's complaints mirror those of Reba McEntire, Loretta Lynn, Kelly Clarkson and others to comment in recent years about the lack of supposed "real country music" on the country charts and the commercial airwaves.
The Newnan, Georgia native and Nashville star has done his part to keep it country, dating back to the release of his debut album, 1990's Here in The Real World. Since then, he's made fans sentimental for their own small town pasts ("Drive (For Daddy Gene)" and "Remember When") while chronicling his journey as a singer-songwriter ("Chasin' That Neon Rainbow") and providing the soundtrack of Southern summers (from honky tonk throwback "Don't Rock the Jukebox" to Jimmy Buffett duet "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" and '90s country benchmark "Chattahoochee").
Jackson's also known to ask what happened to the genre in song, as heard on George Strait duet and bluegrass cover "Murder on Music Row" as well as the title track of forthcoming album Where Have You Gone (out this Friday, May 14).