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Newnan-born country crooner Jackson gets lifetime award

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

Newnan native Alan Jackson will be honored with a prestigious ASCAP Founders Award, essentially a lifetime achievement award, at the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers’ 48th annual Country Music Awards, Sept. 14 in Nashville.

The award is given to “songwriters and composers who have made pioneering contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators,” ASCAP said in Monday’s announcement. Past recipients include Paul McCartney, Garth Brooks, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Smokey Robinson, Emmylou Harris, James Taylor and Jackson Browne.

“Alan is one of the most prolific and influential artists in country music,” ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams said in the release.  “He has consistently topped the charts without compromising his artistry, style and love of tradition, captivating millions with songs that are honest, heartfelt and entertaining. He’s a genuine superstar, and we are very proud to honor him with ASCAP’s Founders Award.”

From his 1990 debut release, “Here in the Real World,” to his latest album, “Freight Train,” Jackson has sold more than 50 million albums and scored 34 No. 1 hits, including “Don’t Rock The Jukebox,” “Chattahoochee,” “Gone Country,” “Little Bitty,” “Right on the Money,” “Where I Come From,” “Drive (For Daddy Gene)” and “Small Town Southern Man,” according to ASCAP.

Jackson was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, in Macon, in 2001.

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