Alan Jackson was presented with 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, Tennessee, that “Country music has been real good to me and I fell in love with it when I was a young man.”
“I really love the instruments, the steel guitars and the fiddles and things like that that gave it such a unique character to me and made it its own,” the musician said. “And I love the lyrics and the songs and the artists and the melodies and the harmonies. It’s just a 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 out as teenagers and she’s been on this roller coaster ride with me for 40 something years now.”
He added that he’s “not always the easiest person to love, but she’s hung in there and helped me through hard times and we share great times. The good and the bad, the happy and the sad. We’ve survived a lot.”
The Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes artists who have contributed to country music in a significant way and have positively impacted the music genre.
Jackson has also been named CMA entertainer of the year three times.