How Alan Jackson Was Inspired by Justin Timberlake for One of His New Songs

by Halle Ames

We never thought we would see that day when Alan Jackson pulled inspiration from pop singer Justin Timberlake. 

Such an unconventional combination, but we are so here for it. It’s like chocolate and potato chips. The salty (Timberlake) with the sweet (Jackson). It’s like a match made in dessert or, in this case, music heaven.

Alan Jackson recently released his 16th studio album, Where Have You Gone. The iconic track comes after the 62-years-old country legend semi-retired for the past six years.  

When creating the hit songs to be featured in his new comeback album, Alan Jackson admits to drawing inspiration from an unlikely source. 

I’m Bringing Sexy… I Mean Country Back

According to Today’s Country Radio With Kelleigh Bannen, Jackson wrote “Back” after joking with his children about Justin Timberlake’s hit 2006 song “SexyBack.”

Jackson said that while he may not be bringing sexy back (don’t worry, you are still a silver fox in our book), he wanted to “bring country back.”

“It started as a joke, really,” Jackson tells Bannen. “My kids were talking about that Justin Timberlake had this ‘bringing sexy back’ song, and they were just laughing and talking about it. And I hadn’t even heard it, and they were just laughing, and I said, ‘Well, I think I’m going to write one about [how] I’m going to bring country back.'”

What started out as good fun turned into nostalgia for Alan Jackson, recalling his childhood in Georgia. 

“I didn’t write it from a position that I’m going to bring country back,” Jackson says. “I think it was just more of a fun song, and I ended up taking all these memories, visual memories of things that I remember growing up in the South in a small town, which is so relatable to country music.”

Alan Jackson “Back”

The upbeat song will have you dancing in the driver’s seat of your car, as Jackson highlights significant memories that shaped his childhood. For example, most of us from small-town, USA can relate to the country artist’s lyrics. 

“Tomatoes on the vine, elderberry wine, Last week’s clothes dryin’ on the line. Momma in the kitchen, daddy down the hall, Bourbon on the table, Jesus on the wall.”

Alan Jackson features “Back” at number 11 out of 21 on the artists Where Have You Gone album. Furthermore, the tune continues with the chorus. 

“Back, I’m bringin’ country back. Back where it belongs, back on track. Yeah, I think ol’ Hank would like it like that. I got my boots, I got my hat. I’m bringin’ country back.”

Yeah… so not exactly Justin Timberlake’s version of “I’m bringing sexy back,” but hey, to each their own.