Everything is better with a little bit of Alan Jackson. Even if it is just a full-sized cardboard cutout of him from the 90’s with a mullet pouring out of the back of his cowboy hat stuck in the corner of a record store, his mere presence reminds you of a time when popular country music didn’t completely suck. His participation in the last few big award show presentations has been one of the very few saving graces, and he will again be enjoying some face time on Sunday (4-15) as part of the 2018 ACM Awards.
Alan Jackson will be appearing with semi traditionalist Jon Pardi when the two perform Jackson’s 1993 hit “Chattahoochee.” Of course it has to be one of Jackson’s biggest commercial songs they choose for him to perform as opposed to something better, but it’s part of a throwback to 1993 the ACMs are doing, celebrating that random, nondescript year in country music 25 years ago. The segment will also include a questionably sober Toby Keith performing his first big hit “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” from 1993 with Blake Shelton, as well as ACM Awards host Reba McEntire singing “Does He Love You” with Kelly Clarkson.
Jackson’s presence always spices up an awards show, from when he insisted his drummer play without sticks to hint to a backing track at the ACMs in 1994, to pulling the “Choices/Pop A Top” play in 1999 at the CMAs. Then of course there was the 2016 CMA Awards where Jackson walked out when pop star Beyonce took the stage with The Dixie Chicks. I’m sure all eyes will be on Jackson’s assigned seat when Florida Georgia Line gets up on stage with Bebe Rexha to perform their pop smash on steroids, “Meant To Be.”
Alan Jackson was inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2017, and released a new single in October called “The Older I Get” that was promised to be the precursor to a new album in 2018. Other reasons to watch the 2018 ACM Awards on Sunday are, well, nothing, except to poke fund at everyone and maybe Miranda Lambert’s performance, and perhaps to watch Chris Stapleton whose up for eight awards clean up again. And of course Saving Country Music will be conducting a LIVE blog during the presentation, so put up your internet-connected device Sunday evening and snark along.
Alan Jackson’s mustache could kick Florida Georgia Line’s ass.