Alan Jackson to Receive 2022 CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award

Singer-songwriter Alan Jackson will be celebrated during the upcoming CMA Awards, when he receives the 2022 CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award. The ceremony will air live on ABC on Nov. 9 from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

Dierks Bentley, Jon Pardi, Carrie Underwood, and Lainey Wilson are set to take to the CMA Awards stage for an all-star tribute to the Country Music Hall of Famer.

The CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an artist who has reached the highest degree of recognition in country music, and recognizes an artist who has earned national and international prominence through concert performances, humanitarian efforts, philanthropy, streaming numbers, record sales and public representation, and has contributed to the growth of the country music genre.

Previous recipients of the CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award are Willie Nelson (2012), Kenny Rogers (2013), Johnny Cash (2015), Dolly Parton (2016), Kris Kristofferson (2019), Charley Pride (2020), and Loretta Lynn (2021). 

Jackson may be “a singer of simple songs,” as he croons in “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning),” but it is those songs, paired with his relatable, straightforward vocals, that have gained Jackson his status as a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, among other accolades.

Since the release of his debut single, “Blue Blooded Woman,” in 1989, Jackson has earned 26 Billboard No. 1 country songs (and 51 top 10 singles), with hits including “Midnight in Montgomery,” “Chattahoochee,” and “Livin’ on Love,” and was the sole songwriter behind many of his fan-favorite songs. Jackson has won the CMA’s entertainer of the year honor three times. Following the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, Jackson saw his song “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” become an anthem of hope and healing. The song earned Jackson his first Grammy Award (for best country song), and in November 2001, Georgia congressman Mac Collins read the song’s lyrics on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, securing it a place in the permanent Congressional Record.

He’s released more than 20 albums and collections during his career, and in 2014 was given the first ASCAP Heritage Award, which recognized him as the most-performed country music songwriter-artist of the last century. Jackson has sold nearly 60 million albums during his career.

“We are thrilled to honor Alan Jackson this year with the CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award,” Sarah Trahern, CMA CEO, said in a statement. “A three-time CMA Entertainer of the Year, he is responsible for so many iconic moments in CMA Awards history. Just as Alan has been influenced by many Country legends throughout his career, he too has inspired a generation of artists to stay true to the authenticity of Country Music. We are so excited to bring Dierks, Jon, Carrie and Lainey together on the CMA Awards stage for what will surely be an incredible and touching tribute to an artist they each deeply admire. Having had the great fortune of working with Alan over the years, I am delighted we are honoring him with this milestone award next month.”

Jessica Nicholson