Country legend Alan Jackson and his daughter Mattie Jackson Selecman, (31), have joined forces to write a new single, “Racing the Dark,” which coincides with the recent release of Selecman’s first book, Lemons on Friday.
In 2018, Selecman suddenly lost her husband of 11 months, due to a traumatic brain injury. In this inspiring book, she shares her journey of facing the most heartbreaking loss of her life, navigating through grief and eventually finding the light at the end of the tunnel.
“It’s a beautiful song. And it’s well-written, lyrically,” Jackson said in a recent press release. “She told a little more of her story in it…so I’m anxious for my fans to get to hear this.”
Jackson and his wife, Denise Jackson, a New York Times best-selling author, included their own humble words in a foreword of the book, sharing their perspective on the tragic story of losing a son-in-law.
“I’m really surprised how well she was able to handle all that. I know I couldn’t have done what she’s done,” Jackson said. “One day she came to me with this piece of paper and said, ‘I wrote this song…the lyrics,’ and asked me to put it to music. So, I wrote the melody for it, and it turned out to be a very sweet song.”
In a recent interview with TODAY’s Hoda & Jenna, Selecman opened up about writing the “accidental” song that will go on to touch the hearts of many fans.
“That was such an accident on my part, I’m certainly not a musician, but the lyrics just came to me one day coming up on the two-year anniversary of Ben’s death and Dad, obviously with the talent he has. I said ‘you know, could you put a melody with this?’” Mattie told the TODAY show hosts. “Thinking all the while if this is awful, is he going to tell me? But he did, and he invited me into the whole production process, and it was just such a beautiful surprise. It’s such a gift for me.”
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The lyric video accompanying “Racing the Dark” depicts the devastating loss heard throughout the words using gray, foggy images. This footage reveals the great depth of the song and exhibits deep emotions.
“Why to go back there/When she’d come so far/If she really stops/Will the healin’ start?/Chasin’ I-95/And racin’ the dark,” Jackson sings in the chorus.
In addition to being an author and now a songwriter, Selecman has also co-founded her own company called, NaSHEville. Not long after closing her wine bar restaurant in 2018, she created this movement to help benefits orphans, human trafficking victims and widows.
Their mission states, “As Nashville natives, we are here to support the fellow women of all walks in our city. Each of these three groups play an intimate part in our personal stories and are at the core mission of who we are and who we serve as a brand and company.”
This may be the first father/daughter collaboration for Jackson, but it is not the first time his family has inspired his music. His most recent album, Where Have You Gone, features two songs written for his daughters’ weddings – “You’ll Always Be My Baby” and “I Do.” Jackson also gave a nod to his three children in his classics, “Drive (for Daddy Gene),” “Remember When” and “Job Description.”
Lemons On Friday is out now and is available for purchase now.