It was 25 years ago that a soft-spoken singer named Alan Jackson became the very first artist signed to Arista Records' Nashville office. Fast forward to today, and the Georgia native has one of the most revered catalogs of music in the history of the genre, with more than 50 Top 10 singles, 60 million albums sold, 18 ACM awards, 16 CMA awards, two Grammys and membership in the coveted Grand Ole Opry.
To celebrate a quarter century of milestone after country music milestone, Jackson will embark on a 25th anniversary tour next year, hitting, appropriately, 25 cities. The trek was announced at a press conference Thursday at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, where the singer was met with a standing ovation and assured everyone this is not a farewell tour.
"I don't know what I'd retire from. I don't work much now," he deadpanned.
It was also announced that Jackson will be the Hall of Fame's next "Artist in Residence," with dates for a series of intimate concerts to be revealed soon. And on August 29th, the museum will open an exhibit of Jackson memorabilia both from the stage and from his personal life.
Jackson was commendably clear eyed at Thursday's press conference, after being the toast of the town late into Wednesday evening. After receiving the Impact Award at the CMT Music Awards, he kept the party going with a surprise concert at downtown Nashville honky tonk, the Stage. The seasoned performer delighted the packed dance floor with a medley of his biggest hits and duets with Easton Corbin, Kacey Musgraves and Lee Ann Womack.