For four decades Alan Jackson, 64, has entertained millions of fans with his wonderful mix of honky tonk and traditional country music.
He has sold more than 80 million records, is a member of the Grand Ole Opry, and became a Country Music Hall of Famer in 2017.
But Alan has also endured severe tragedies in recent years and last year, the country star revealed that he had been diagnosed with a degenerative nerve condition.
Despite his incredible achievements and success, Alan Jackson and his family have also gone through some hardships over the years.
The Country Music Hall of Famer and his loved ones still mourning the loss of their son-in-law Ben Selecman after he lost his life in a boating accident in 2018. In a tragic turn of events the 28-year-old, who was married to Mattie Jackson Selecman, lost his life while trying to help a woman onto a boat.
According to The Tennessean, Ben was trying to help a woman onto a boat when he fell and hit his head. He was rushed to the hospital but sadly Ben passed away from “severe traumatic head injuries.”
His co-workers at Davidson County District Attorney Glenn Funk where Ben was Assistant District Attorney told The Tennessean his sense of humor and undeniable drive would be sorely missed around the office.
“He was really a rising star and I’m sick that we lost him, but I’m grateful for every day that he worked for us because he was great,” their statement added.
Alan Jackson recently explained that this family tragedy is a major reason why his album Angels & Alcohol in 2015 and his latest release early this year, Where Have You Gone.
Mattie has been grieving the sudden loss of her partner with her father at her side for the past three years.
The daughter and father even revealed that they co-wrote a song called “Racing the Dark.” While Jackson’s iconic country music has often been inspired by his daughters, this is the first time the two have created anything together.
Fans of the star can download the song by ordering Mattie’s upcoming book, Lemons on Friday: Trusting God Through My Greatest Heartbreak. In the book, Mattie opens up about how her husband’s loss affected her and how she began to recover using her faith.
She also writes about how her pain gave her the momentum to find new power in NaSHEville, a company she co-founded that aims to empower women in Music City.
The book also features a foreword penned by Alan and his wife, New York Times best-selling author, Denise Jackson. The married couple writes about their own experience in the wake of their daughter’s loss, from finding new ways to support her and also grieving the loss of a found family member.
Lemons was released on November 16.
Alan Jackson disease
Unfortunately, Alan Jackson has also been forced to take on some personal challenges regarding his health.
In an exclusive interview with Today last year, Alan opened up and revealed that he’s been battling severe health problems in recent times.
According to Alan, he has had problems for the past ten years, and the diagnosis he suffers from is called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a degenerative nerve condition.
The disease affects the country star’s life; walking and keeping his balance can sometimes be challenging. Unfortunately, there is no cure; the condition is genetic and something Alan inherited from his father.
Unfortunately, it has gotten worse over the years, according to Alan.
”There’s no cure for it, but it’s been affecting me for years. And it’s getting more and more obvious. And I know I’m stumbling around on stage. And now I’m having a little trouble balancing, even in front of the microphone, and so I just feel very uncomfortable,” he told Jenna Bush Hager from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville.
According to Today, the condition affects ”the peripheral nervous system and causes balance problems by compromising smaller, weaker muscles in the body’s extremities.” The damage is mostly in the arms and legs.
Even though it’s a hard blow for him, Alan doesn’t plan on stepping out of the limelight. Hopefully, he will continue to tour and play his music for many years to come.
“It’s not going to kill me. It’s not deadly,” Jackson shared. “But it’s related (to) muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s disease.”
The good thing is that the iconic country singer has his wife, Denise, by his side. The two were high school sweethearts, and tied the knot in 1979, when they were 19.
The two have been committed to one another ever since. Even as they’ve faced trials and hardships, they’ve always come out stronger.
Denise was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2010. She later beat the disease through chemotherapy, and Alan says it made them appreciate life all the more.
“It made us change our whole outlook on life, what we value and what’s important,” Alan told the Palm Beach Post. “That’s what happens in situations like that.”
Alan and Denise just celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary and welcomed their first grandchild, Jackson Alvie Bradshaw, born on Dec 13, 2022.
The parents, Alan’s daughter Ali and her husband Sam Bradshaw, were, of course, thrilled to share the happy news. and looking at the picture below, it seems like Alan and Denise couldn’t be happier to become grandparents!
Prayers for you Alan and your family. One of my favorite singers!