Alan Jackson received the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award at the 56th Annual Country Music Association Awards on Wednesday.
In his acceptance speech, the country music legend told the crowd at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., that “country music has been very good to me and I fell in love with it when I was young.”
“I really love instruments, steel guitars and violins and things like that, they gave me such a unique character and made it my own,” said the musician. “And I love the lyrics and the songs and the artists and the melodies and the harmonies. It’s just real American music to me.”
Jackson, known for several hits including “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere”, also thanked his wife Denise, saying: “We started as teenagers and she’s been with me on this rollercoaster for 40 years.”
He added that “she’s not always the easiest person to love, but she stuck by and helped me through the hard times and we shared great times. The good and the bad, the happy and the sad. We survived a lot”.
The Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes artists who have made significant contributions to country music and have had a positive impact on the music genre.
Jackson has also been named CMA Entertainer of the Year three times.