Only seven other people have received the award, and Alan Jackson is only the fourth artist. George Jones won the award in 2015 posthumously, as did Merle Haggard in 2016. Marty Stuart also won the award in 2007. “That’s pretty good company there with two of my heroes of all time, George and Merle,” Alan Jackson said.
It’s hard enough for side players in any genre to receive the recognition their contributions to the music deserve, let alone ones who choose a discipline that is a dying art. Kayton Roberts had it hard enough as a steel guitar player. But Kayton’s instrument of choice—the pedal-less steel—was in even less demand throughout his career.