Denise Jackson and her country star husband Alan Jackson have one of the most powerful love stories in country music, dating all the way back to a high school courtship. The couple has stuck with each other through thick and thin, acting as role models for how hard you need to work for true love in order to find a happy ending.
The high school sweethearts married in their hometown of Newnan, Georgia in 1979 at the Newnan Baptist Church. After six years of marriage, the couple moved to Nashville so that Jackson could pursue his dreams. But it was Denise who helped Alan get his start in country music. She ran into Glen Campbell while working as a flight attendant and told him about her musically ambitious husband. The country legend took an interest and helped a young Jackson land a record deal with Arista Records.
Fast forward a few years and Jackson has a successful career as a well-known American country singer and the couple has three daughters, Mattie Denise, Dani Grace and Ali. But in 1998, Jackson had an affair that rocked their relationship, which was already struggling.
"We were just kids when we started out," Jackson tells People. "We didn't ever have the chance to fall in love as adults and to learn who you are before making a commitment. I think we lost some of that original feeling. I did anyway."
Despite separating, the couple reconciled again in 1999. Part of a good love story is the decision to stick with your spouse, for better or worse and that's what the Jacksons did. They focused on therapy, a strong Christian foundation for their relationship and they bounced back from the painful situation that hurt their family.
Denise even wrote a book about her personal life to shed light on happened so that she could help other couples struggling with the same situation: It's All About Him: Finding the Love of My Life was released in 2007 and topped the New York Times bestseller list. Jackson even released a song for the book, "It's All About Him."
"The greatest blessings in my life have come out of my worst shattering," Denise told People in a separate interview discussing her book.
"His betrayal and our separation were what led to this new, passionate love relationship with God and also led to us being able to have the kind of marriage that we both always wanted but just didn't know how to have," Denise Jackson told People. "Couples and especially women can relate to my story - my fears, my insecurities, my self-esteem issues, marital issues that Alan and I had as a result of marrying so young."
The two are now together all the time, taking advantage of the time they have with each other when the country superstar isn't on the road. Even after her cancer diagnosis in 2010, the couple fought through it, and she's now cancer free.
This article was originally published in May of 2019.