A Look Back At The Night Alan Jackson Surprised Zac Brown With A ’66 Cadillac El Dorado

Brown was in shock over the generous gift.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

January 9, 2024


12:04 pm

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Alan Jackson, Zac Brown; Photo by Glen Rose, Courtesy of Facebook

Many country stars are often seen gifting their friends and fellow artists with something special as a token of appreciation for joining them on tour, writing a hit song with them, etc. Thirteen years ago, Alan Jackson took this practice and went above and beyond when he surprised Zac Brown with a 1966 Cadillac El Dorado convertible.

On December 29, 2010, Zac Brown Band was scheduled to perform at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. Before taking the stage, Jackson presented the “Colder Weather” singer with the car while backstage of the arena. This very generous gift was Jackson’s way of saying thank you for getting to be included on Brown’s top-charting, GRAMMY award-winning song, “As She’s Walking Away.”

“He was nice to include me on that,” Alan previously told USA Today about his duet partner. “He’s a pretty good fellow, and I just wanted to do something for him.”

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Zac Brown Was Shocked

This heartfelt moment between the two artists was filmed and later shared by USA Today. The video sees Brown walking over to Alan, shaking hands and wishing him a happy holidays before noticing the vintage white convertible sitting in front of them. 

With his eyes locked on the vehicle, Brown can be heard asking if it’s a Cadillac to which Jackson responded, “I brought this car I wanted to…Well, it’s yours now!”

A look of shock and confusion washed over Brown’s face as he said, “No way, you’re kidding me.”

“No man, wanted to say thank you,” said Jackson. 

Realization suddenly started to set in as he said, “You’re kidding me. Shut your mouth,” and earned a roar of laughter from those in the room. Brown then got a closer look at his new car as the pair continued their conversation. He sat in the driver’s seat, inspected the sound system, and even looked under the hood. 

The Boot reported that when Zac Brown initially saw the car, he thought, “That’s Alan’s car. It’s gotta be. That’s bad-ass.” Then he recalled Jackson saying, “’That’s your car.’ Man, that’s unbelievable — it’s unreal,” he said humbly before promising to “pay it forward.”

“What an amazing night, amazing friend, amazing car … and if I want to pull a Hank Sr., I now have the ride to do it in,” Brown added.

Later on in the evening, Alan Jackson surprised the audience of Bridgestone Arena by joining the band to deliver the fan-favorite tune.

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Offering wisdom through a love song

Zac Brown penned “As She’s Walking Away” with Wyatt Durrette and also served as a co-producer alongside Keith Stegall. The upbeat song first appeared on the band’s 2010 You Get What You Give album and later on their Greatest Hits So Far… collection alongside “Chicken Friend,” “Whatever It Is,” “Toes,” “Free,” and more. 

With a buoyant tune and passion-filled lyrics, “As She’s Walking Away” offers a bit of wisdom about falling in love with a stranger.

“Now I’m fallin’ in love as she’s walkin’ away / And my heart won’t tell my mind / To tell my mouth what it should say / We may have lost this battle, live to fight another day / Now I’m fallin’ in love as she’s walkin’ away,” they sing on the first chorus. 

Alan Jackson; Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Tree Town Music Festival, Zac Brown; Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for iHeartMedia 
Alan Jackson; Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Tree Town Music Festival, Zac Brown; Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for iHeartMedia 

Zac Brown Band, Alan Jackson and several of their fellow beachy country stars reunited on stage during 2023 CMA Awards to deliver a tribute to the late Jimmy Buffett. Together, they came together to celebrate the late artist, who spent over five decades of his life entertaining. It was an incredibly moving movement for viewers as they watched a multi-song tribute consisting of “A Pirate Looks At Forty,” “Adios, My Friend” and the 1977 signature hit, “Margaritaville.”

Hitting The Road With Kenny Chesney

In November, the nine-piece band announced that they would be joining Kenny Chesney on the road for his Sun Goes Down 2024 Tour, which kicks off April 20 in Tampa, FL.

For a full list of the Zac Brown Band’s upcoming dates, visit their website HERE

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.