Alan and Denis Jackson got married way back in 1979 and have remained together ever since. They have three grown-up daughters named Mattie Denise Jackson, Alexandra Jane Jackson, and Dani Grace Jackson.
Alan Jackson is an American-born country musician and two-time Grammy winner. Known for penning most of his songs, Jackson has numerous albums with at least 66 titles which have made it to the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart, and 35 which went on to top the chart.
With 9 of Jackson’s albums having been certified multi-platinum, he has sold well over 60 million records worldwide. In addition to the astounding commercial success, Jackson has also received much recognition including 2 Grammy awards and several other accolades.
The country music icon has attained legendary status having been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2017 and 2018 respectively. All of these great feats might not have happened without Alan’s wife, Denise Jackson.
In addition to playing a significant role in the career beginning of the Country Music Hall of Famer, Denise Jackson is known to be a very supportive, loyal, and forgiving wife who has made it possible for the singer to enjoy happy family life as much as he has enjoyed a successful career.
They have been married for decades and even though their union has faced some challenges over the years, including one that had them separated for several months in 1998, the two are considered to be an inspiring couple and example of a successful marriage.
This has had many wondering what’s the secret behind the union and how it survived infidelity and the strains of Jackson’s career that once bedeviled it.
Alan and Denis Jackson Have Been Together Since They Were Teenagers – They Met In 1976
Alan Eugene Jackson was born on October 17, 1958, in Newnan, Georgia to Ruth Musick and Joseph Eugene Jackson. He was raised alongside 4 older siblings. He had his early education at Elm Street Elementary after which he studied at Newnan High School located in Coweta County, Georgia.
The young Alan joined his church choir at a young age where he developed an interest in gospel music. It was around this time that he met Denise who was 16 years old. Alan was 18 when they met and according to reports, their meeting happened on a Sunday night in Newnan, Georgia way back in 1976.
It is said that Denise met the singer while she was out to get some ice cream after church. The singer introduced himself to Denise with a penny he threw down her shirt and then asked if he could go get it. That didn’t gain him the attention he wanted, so he decided to take things a step further.
Alan hid in the back seat of Denise’s car where it was parked and jumped out to scare her when she got in to drive away. The trick worked this time and marked the beginning of a lifetime relationship.
When Alan Jackson graduated from school, he started a music band and Denise has been with him throughout his career journey; in fact, it was through her that the singer got his start in the music industry.
The Couple Dated For Just Over Two Years Before They Got Married In December 1979
Things happened quickly for Alan and Denise Jackson as they were ready for marriage just over two years of dating. Based on what Denise would disclose in years to come, she was excited about getting married to Alan as he was the only meaningful thing that made her feel good about her life.
She was dependent on him to make things work out for them and Alan wore the responsibility of providing for the family with good bearing after they got married in December 1979. Yes, the couple tied the knot on December 15, 1979, at Newnan Baptist Church in their hometown of Newnan, Georgia.
From being a construction worker to working as a postmaster, baggage handler, and car salesman, he did several jobs to provide for his young family and still found time to write songs and perform during weekends at local clubs.
As the going got tough, Denise took up a job as a flight attendant to support and complement her husband’s efforts. Through this job, she would come to facilitate the beginning of her husband’s professional career.
Denise Helped Her Husband Move To Nashville Where His Career Took Off
While working as a flight attendant, Alan’s wife ran into the late country music legend, Glen Campbell, at the Atlanta airport. One thing led to another and the two began talking. Denise then talked about her husband and how he had been striving to kickstart a career in music.
She asked the late superstar singer for advice on behalf of her husband and he gave her his music publishing contact; that of Marty Gamblin. Roughly two weeks after Denise’s fateful meeting with Glen, Alan met Gamblin who agreed to become his manager and it became the genesis of his professional career as a singer.
Alan and Denise Jackson soon relocated to Nashville, Tennessee for the former to pursue a full-time career in music. There, he got signed to the Nashville arm of Arista Records. Jackson released his first studio album Here in the Real World in 1990 which contained his first number 1 hit “I’d Love You All Over Again” as well as 2 other top 5 hits.
This was followed by an even more successful second album Don’t Rock the Jukebox (1991) which contained 4 number 1 hits. The talented artist continued to churn out more hit albums throughout the 90s and as a songwriter, he collaborated with several major artists.
Despite an overwhelming threat by pop and rock in the late 90s, Alan Jackson remained true to the traditional country sound.
Moving to Nashville came with its own challenges for the couple as they struggled to make a living. Although Alan intermittently landed paying gigs, it wasn’t enough to foot their bills. As Denise once recalled, they lived in a “dank little apartment” for two months, and because of the dangerous nature of the neighbourhood, the singer had to sell his 1955 Thunderbird convertible so that they can acquire their first house.
The couple was nonetheless determined to thrive so they decided to give their stay in Nashville a timeline for success: they were going to leave if things didn’t turn around for good in five years. But as fate would have it, Alan’s career took off and their finances improved.
As Alan was too attached to the white 1955 Thunderbird convertible, Denise surprised him after they gained some level of financial freedom. She tracked down the car and repurchased it for Alan as a Christmas present. It was a gesture that left the famous singer in tears.
Alan’s Career Growth Came With Challenges That Tore The Couple Apart
In 2002, the talented singer earned his first Grammy Award for his 2001 hit single “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” off his 10th album Drive (2002). In 2006, he returned to his gospel roots as he released the gospel album Precious Memories, his thirteenth album.
He also released a 14th studio album Like Red on a Rose (2006) which featured a more adult contemporary/folk sound. Unlike his previous releases, the album was only able to attain Gold status as fans criticized Jackson’s deviation from the traditional country sound.
Alan Jackson eventually returned to his country roots for his 15th album Good Time (2008) which became very highly successful and was certified platinum. In 2011, he received a 2nd Grammy Award for his collaboration with Zac Brown Band on the hit single “As She’s Walking Away”.
The multi-talented singer received the 2014 Billboard Top Christian Album award for his second gospel album – Precious Memories Volume II. In August 2014, the country music veteran was honoured with a special exhibit by the Country Music Hall of Fame in commemoration of his 25th year in music.
In addition to 2 Grammy Awards, Alan Jackson also has 16 Country Music Association (CMA) Awards, 17 Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards among several other accolades.
As the singer has often expressed, his wife played a major role in all he has been able to accomplish. But at some point in the marriage, the demands of his career became a burden to their union. Alan and Denise Jackson became some sort of strangers as their marriage headed for a divorce over issues that included infidelity.
Why Did Alan Jackson Get Separated From His Wife?
Based on what has been reported on various quarters, the singer cheated on his wife and even admitted it. But the root of the problem they had can be traced to the strains of Alan’s career which created a vacuum between them.
Noting that Denise had become “too controlling” and that they had drifted apart, Alan informed his wife that he wasn’t happy with the way things are between them; this happened in November 1997 after they welcomed their third child. Before the year ran out, they were separated after being married for almost 18 years.
Denise would later relate that it was as though the only thing she could depend on had been taken away from her when Alan moved out of their home. She realized that she had been living in her husband’s shadow all along and embarked upon a journey of self-discovery, turning to God for help.
Admitting that she was always trying to control Alan, Denise disclosed that she felt a sense of peace after she prayed to God and ceased trying to manipulate Alan into returning home. She explained that Alan’s career growth and strong personality left her insecure. Her world revolved around him and she lost herself in the process.
After they had been apart for a few months, the singer unexpectedly visited his family but didn’t say anything to Denise. Surprisingly, he called to ask her for a date over the weekend the next day and it became the beginning of rebuilding their broken relationship.
Secrets of Their Enduring Marriage Since They Renewed Their Vows In December 1998
A while after they had the date Alan asked for, the couple reconciled and Alan moved back into their home. Alan and Denise Jackson began going for couple’s therapy and ultimately reconnected and recommitted to each other. According to Denise, rebuilding the trust they had was difficult but the fact that they were willing to fight for their marriage made all the difference.
With time, Denise forgave Alan for cheating on her and they renewed their marital vows in December 1998 during their 19th wedding anniversary. The couple nurtured a strong bond in the years that followed and has been inseparable since then.
Being a devout Christian, Alan’s wife believes the marriage crisis was an avenue through which God gained her attention. In her 2007 book titled It’s All About Him: Finding the Love of My Life, Denise detailed how going through the separation polished them to have the kind of relationship they had always aspired to.
She shared that the separation made them realize they had to make their relationship a priority and create the time to be together no matter the demands of their schedules.
Alan once expressed that the fact they got married earlier played a role in the crisis that almost ended their marriage. According to him, they never got the chance to fall in love with each other as adults and needed more to continue being together instead of the original way they felt about being together.
In another instance, the singer noted that people are sometimes nicer to strangers than those close to them. With that, he offered that couples that want to remain together must work on the relationship no matter how compatible they think they are.
The Union Has Also Survived Cancer
Their four-month separation isn’t the only challenge Alan and Denise Jackson have had to face: the couple has also faced and conquered colon cancer. It was in 2010 that Alan Jackson’s wife was diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
As one would expect, it was a piece of shocking news for the couple and the entire family. They quickly embarked on an aggressive treatment that subjected Denise to chemotherapy and 30 days of radiation. For about two months after she began treatment, Denise was declared cancer-free.
Speaking about the experience, Alan remarked that Denise is a good woman and that he would have traded places with her as he has always been the trouble-maker. The singer added that the situation changed their perspective about life, what’s important, what to value, and what to prioritize.
The health crisis was the inspiration behind his song “When I Saw You Leaving”. Unlike other songs of the singer, Denise didn’t get to listen to it until it was recorded. The woman cried after she listened to the song.
What Does Denise Do For a Living?
Raised in Newnan, Georgia, Denise was a bright student in high school who played tennis and was also a cheerleader. Despite getting married to Alan when she graduated from high school, it didn’t stop her from furthering her education. She is college-educated and worked as a teacher before she became a flight attendant.
After she moved with Alan to Nashville in 1985, the years that followed left her in her husband’s shadow and she ultimately lost her identity to his career exploits and personality which contributed to their separation.
Following their reconciliation, she stepped out of Alan’s shadow and has built a name for herself not only as an author but also as a youth minister and public speaker.
As an author, Denise’s first book was about her life and relationship with Alan Jackson. Published in 2007, she co-authored the book which attained the top spot on The New York Times Best Seller list with Ellen Vaughn.
The following year, Alan’s wife published her second book titled “The Road Home”. Denise has published at least six more books since then and they have been praised as workbooks for children in crises.
The Couple Are Parents To Three Daughters
Alan Jackson’s family life has always been a subject of interest to the public and it’s no secret that he has several famous names as part of his family. For instance, he is the uncle of a fellow country music singer-songwriter, Adam Wright.
Wright is one half of the country music duo called ‘The Wrights’, which he formed alongside his wife, Sharon. The Wrights collaborated with Jackson on the latter’s What I Do (2004) album. Even though there are several other interesting facts worth knowing about the singer’s extended family, it is his immediate family that gets all the attention.
In addition to his flourishing music career, Alan Jackson has also had it good on the home front. The country music legend is still married to his high school sweetheart and wife of over 4 decades – Denise Jackson.
The couple has three children together. Their first daughter named Mattie Denise was born on June 19, 1990. The couple welcomed their 2nd daughter Alexandra Jane on August 23, 1993, and their third daughter Dani Grace was born on August 28, 1997. Jackson’s wife and daughters have featured severally on a number of his music videos.
Mattie Denise Jackson
- Date of Birth: June 19, 1990
- Age: 33 Years Old
- Occupation: Sommelier
- Spouse: Ben Selecman (2017 – 2018)
The first daughter of Alan and Denise Jackson, Mattie was born 11 years after the couple got married. It is not certain why the couple waited for that long to have their first child but based on what has been discussed thus far, one can assume they had the good judgment to wait until they were financially stable before having kids.
Mattie graduated from Franklin Road Academy, a private co-educational Christian school in Nashville after which she proceeded to the University of Tennessee where she obtained a degree in creative writing. It is said that she is a certified wine professional who once operated a wine bar in Nashville
Mattie is the widow of Ben Selecman, an Assistant District Attorney for Davidson County in Tennessee whom she married in October 2017. The man lost his life the following year as a result of severe head injuries he sustained while helping a woman onto a boat.
Alexandra Jane Jackson
- Date of Birth: August 23, 1993
- Age: 30 Years Old
- Occupation: Undetermined
- Spouse: Sam Bradshaw (July 2020 – Present)
Alexandra Jane Jackson fondly called “Ali” is the second daughter of Alan and Denise Jackson. She is often regarded as the closest to Alan but to the best of our knowledge, that judgment is based on her heart-warming tribute to Alan in 2017 when the singer was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Describing the man as every girl’s dream father, Ali celebrated Alan for being her best friend and teaching her how to treat people right.
Earlier in 2013, she made news headlines when she was arrested by the Metro Nashville Police and slapped with charges that range from resisting arrest to assault and underage consumption of alcohol.
As claimed, she attacked an officer who pulled her over for speeding. Alexandra got married to her husband Sam Bradshaw on the 18th of July 2020. It was a quiet ceremony held at the Hilton Nashville Green Hills. Details of who her husband is are yet to be uncovered as Ali and Sam have embraced a private lifestyle.
Dani Grace Jackson
- Date of Birth: August 28, 1997
- Age: 26 Years Old
- Occupation: Undetermined
- Spouse: Unknown
Dani Grace Jackson is the third and last child of Alan and Denise Jackson. Dani is also the least popular member of her family. Hardly can anyone tell anything about the schools she attended, her dreams, or the career path she has settled for: even though it has been suggested in some quarters that she has a thing for fashion.
Dani was said to be halfway through high school when her mother was diagnosed with colon cancer. In the fullness of time, people would hopefully get to learn more about Dani. She is largely only known for being who she is at the moment.
Are Alan Jackson’s Daughters Married?
Based on the foregoing, one can tell that two daughters of the singer, the first and second, have experienced marriage. Alexandra Jane Jackson got married to a fellow named Sam Bradshaw in July 2020 and as of this writing, she is the only daughter of Alan and Denise Jackson that’s married.
The singer’s first daughter is a widow. She lost her husband Ben Selecman in 2018, less than a year after they got married. Although much is not known about the last daughter of the singer, there are no reasons to suspect she is married.