Alan Jackson Says it’s ‘Great to Be Back’ With Incredible Concert Pic

by Emily Morgan

Alan Jackson is feeling grateful after this past Fourth of July weekend. Over the weekend, the Georgia native returned to live concerts and can’t help but feel humble about it. 

“Great to be back,” the 62-year-old wrote on a Twitter post on Tuesday. The post also included a pic of Jackson with his back to the camera during his Independence Day concert. 

For the second time in 2021, Jackson and Mickey Guyton took the National Memorial Day Concert stage. He later took the stage for A Capital Fourth: PBS’ annual Fourth of July television special. Singer and former Miss America Vanessa Williams hosted the event.

The concert also included performances by Jimmy Buffett, lead vocalist of Sugarland Jennifer Nettles, and country singer Jimmie Allen. Additionally, singer-songwriter Cynthia Erivo, Pentatonix, actor Auli’I Cravalho, Grammy winners Train, Gladys Knight also performed. 

A Capitol Fourth, now in its 41st year, seeks to honor military service people and their families and their contributions to the U.S. The show took place on the stage of Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. In addition to the performances, viewers also got an epic fireworks show.

“As families and friends reunite and the county begins to open up this Fourth of July, we plan to bring you an exciting program with the greatest fireworks display in the nation, performances by the biggest stars and patriotic favorites,” said executive producer Michael Colbert at the time.

Alan Jackson Tugs on Our Heartstrings During Fourth of July Performance

In addition to being broadcast on TV, viewers could also listen to the event via NPR member stations nationwide. The show was also live-streamed on Facebook, YouTube and the PBS website. If you missed the show, you can watch it on-demand for a limited time. 

During the evening, Jackson had one of the night’s most emotional and memorable performances. Going back in time to 2002, he chose to perform his 2002 hit, “Drive (for Daddy Gene).” The song acts as a direct tribute to the singer’s late father.

“I’d like to do a song for you now that…[it was] quite a few years ago when I wrote this,” Jackson explained before his performance. “I’d lost my daddy and I wanted to write a song for him. I didn’t wanna write some ol’ sad, cryin’, dyin’ thing. So I started thinking about growing up, and all I ever wanted to do was drive something. He taught me all about that, and that’s what this song’s about.”

The song’s storyline recalls the feeling of being young and taking the wheel of a vehicle for the first time. As Jackson sings, whether it be “just an old hand-me-down Ford,” a “plywood boat,” or a “worn-out Jeep” with the guidance of his father. Eugene Jackson, Alan Jackson’s father, died in 2000.