David McClister Alan Jackson
Alan Jackson is being honored with the 2022 CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award!
The "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" icon will receive the prestigious honor at the 56th Annual CMA Awards at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 9 — where country stars Dierks Bentley, Carrie Underwood, Jon Pardi and Lainey Wilson will deliver a tribute performance to the Grammy winner.
Jackson, 64, follows previous recipients of the career-celebrating award including Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride, Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Kenny Rogers and Willie Nelson — whom the award was named after, as he won its first iteration in 2012.
Robby Klein, Alysse Gafjken, Jeff Johnson, John Shearer Dierks Bentley, Lainey Wilson, Carrie Underwood and Jon Pardi
Bentley celebrated his participation in the performance by posting a promotional image to Instagram on Thursday. In a sweet caption, the 46-year-old performer told a story about how Jackson was the first country star he met — "and by 'met' I mean stalked" — upon moving to Nashville in 1994.
"I was in the Green Hills mall when I saw him and his wife Denise. I waited outside for probably a half an hour until he walked out. I shook his hand and told him I was a huge fan," wrote the "Different for Girls" musician. "That's all I wanted, was a handshake and to be able to tell him that. Not sure how much it meant to him, but it made a lot to me!"
He then recalled noticing a similarity in the way they both traveled at the time: "I remember watching him drive away in a lifted Chevy Suburban, which I thought was pretty cool, since I drove a lifted Chevy Silverado."
Writing about the upcoming award show celebration, Bentley continued, "Going to be a special night at the #CMAAwards this year… humbled to be honoring Alan Jackson receiving the 2022 Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award with a live performance."
Since hitting the scene in 1990 with his major label debut Here in the Real World, Jackson's scored 35 chart-topping songs on country radio including 1991's "I'd Love You All Over Again," 1993's "Chattahoochee," 1996's "Little Bitty," 2001's "Where I Come From," 2003's "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" with Jimmy Buffett and, most recently, 2008's "Country Boy."
CMA/ABC Peyton Manning and Luke Bryan
In a statement about why Jackson was chosen to receive the award this year, CMA Chief Executive Officer Sarah Trahern wrote, "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."
Beyond the tribute performance to Jackson, Underwood, 39, will also sing her latest single "Hate My Heart," while Wilson, 30, and HARDY will come together to sing their hit "Wait in the Truck" during the ceremony.
Co-hosted by Luke Bryan and Peyton Manning, the 2022 CMA Awards will air live on Nov. 9 at 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT on ABC.