WATCH: Alan Jackson Proves He’s The Artist Of A Lifetime With Epic ‘Chattahoochee’ Performance

Alan Jackson; Photo by Getty Images for CMT
Alan Jackson; Photo by Getty Images for CMT
Alan Jackson; Photo by Getty Images for CMT

Alan Jackson is joining the likes of fellow country music icons such as Randy Travis, Reba McEntire, Loretta Lynn, Kenny Rogers, and Merle Haggard as a recipient of the CMT Artists of a Lifetime Award. 

The Georgia native, who has 35 No.1 singles to his name, celebrated the honor with a performance of one of his biggest hits, “Chattahoochee,” during the 90-minute CMT Artists of the Year special.  

Joined by his band, Jackson delivered a rollicking rendition of the 1993 chart-topper. His performance had the Schermerhorn Symphony Center crowd on its feet as they clapped and sang along to the timeless country hit. 

Earlier in the show, Jackson was presented with the Artist of a Lifetime trophy from fellow country superstar Chris Stapleton. He earned an extensive standing ovation as he stood at the podium to deliver his acceptance speech.    

Alan Jackson, Chris Stapleton; Photo by Getty Images for CMT
Alan Jackson, Chris Stapleton; Photo by Getty Images for CMT

“Thank you so much that’s sweet I appreciate that,” he shared as the audience cheers died down to allow him to speak. 

Before commenting on his award, Jackson took a moment to remember the late Loretta Lynn. 

“First thing I want to say is, that there will never be another Loretta Lynn…She was always so nice and we had a good friendship, and I just really appreciated her. We’re going to miss you sugar,” he sweetly shared. 

The three-time CMA Entertainer of the Year went on to share what the CMT honor means to him.  

“I’ve said this before, I think I’ve made more videos than anybody in the world. I think I’ve made about 60 of them over the years probably just close,” he said with a smile. “You know, after ‘Chattahoochee,’ I was the first action video artist I believe.”

The crowd erupted with laughter.  

“[I] Went onto drive trucks in the mud, Nascar racecars, I’ve jumped bigfoot monster trucks, I jumped it over six cars one time I did all this stuff, standing on top of skyscrapers, been on a boat in the ocean with my band all that stuff,” Jackson recalled of his iconic music videos. “ I always believed that videos were important to music.”

He reminisced about arguing with record label executives about making music videos because he always wanted his music to be accessible to his fans before he humbly thanking those who have supported him throughout his 30-plus year career.   

“I’ve been really blessed and fortunate and everything and I’m so thankful for all the fans and all the music peers and everybody that’s been so nice to me over the years.”

The 2022 CMT Artists Of The Year celebrated the success Carly Pearce, Kane Brown, Cody Johnson, Luke Combs and Walker Hayes have seen throughout the past year. 

Alan Jackson was honored as the CMT Artist Of A Lifetime. The prestigious honor, presented by Ram Trucks, was previously awarded to Randy Travis (2021), Reba McEntire (2019), Loretta Lynn (2018), Shania Twain (2016), Kenny Rogers (2015) and Merle Haggard (2014).

Cody Johnson, Carly Pearce, Walker Hayes, Alan Jackson, Kane Brown and Lainey Wilson; Photo by Catherine Powell/Getty Images for CMT
Cody Johnson, Carly Pearce, Walker Hayes, Alan Jackson, Kane Brown and Lainey Wilson; Photo by Catherine Powell/Getty Images for CMT

Lainey Wilson was named the 2022 CMT Breakout Artist Of The Year. Wilson is the fifth recipient of the award, following Mickey Guyton (2021), Ashley McBryde (2019), Kelsea Ballerini (2016), and Chris Stapleton (2015).

The 90-minute concert event featured performances from Jackson, Pearce, Johnson, Brown and Wilson. Hayes joined forces with Ciara for a never-before-seen performance of their “Y’all Life” remix. Riley Green also took the stage to honor Luke Combs.

A heartwarming tribute to the late Loretta Lynn, who passed away earlier this month at the age of 90, also took place during the star-studded event when her sisters, Crystal Gayle and Peggy Sue Wright, performed in her honor.  

In addition to a star-studded list of performances, the show also included presenters: Chris Stapleton, Dan + Shay, Dustin Lynch, Rascal Flatts’ frontman Gary LeVox, Kelsea Ballerini, Yellowstone’s Kelsey Asbille, and Shane McAnally.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. appeared remotely from his annual Dale Jr. Foundation charity event in North Carolina to present Combs with his 2022 CMT Artists Of The Year award.

The 2022 CMT Artists Of The Year premiered on Friday, October 14 at 9/8c on CMT.