Alan Jackson’s upcoming radio single has always been a special song. However, there was one exchange Jackson had while listening to the single with his late son-in-law Ben Selecman, that has made the heartfelt song even more special for the country singer.
During a recent interview, Alan Jackson opened up about the upcoming single “You’ll Always Be My Baby” and what it meant to him from the moment he first wrote it. The song, says Jackson, was penned for his oldest daughter’s wedding to Selecman.
“When Mattie got married – my oldest daughter Mattie got married four years ago she wanted me to write a song for the father/daughter dance,” the country singer said of the meaningful ballad. “So that’s where it came from.”
Alan Jackson’s Tribute to His Daughters
Alan Jackson joked that he told his other daughters that this song would be it. He and his wife Denise have two other daughters, Alexandra and Dani. Jackson recalled telling his two younger girls that he didn’t plan on writing three different songs for the father-daughter dance. According to Jackson, he told his girls “look, I’m just going to write one song and all three of y’all can use it for your dance if you want to.”
Jackson has used the song twice now.
For Jackson, the song is a meaningful message to his daughters. However, there is one person’s reaction to the ballad that he remembers the most. The reaction Mattie’s late husband, Ben, had for the tune.
“I remember we were at home and said we had written this thing,” said Alan Jackson.
“I had a rough demo of it or something,” the singer recalled. “We played it and I remember [Selecman] looking emotional about it and saying that was just perfect or something to that effect.”
For Jackson, this was a moment that he has since carried with him.
“It was Mattie’s husband who died accidentally after not quite the first year they were married,” the singer added. “So that was a nice memory to have of that.”
A Tragic Loss
Ben Selecman died in 2018 when he suffered multiple head injuries after falling off a boating dock. According to Alan Jackson, he had spent quite a bit of time being “kind of pissed off at the world” after Selecman’s accidental death.
“I just wasn’t feeling right about anything,” Jackson said.
“I grew up with four older sisters, then Denise and our three girls,” the country singer explained.
“Having a son-in-law was having a boy I could fish with, work on cars and stuff with,” Jackson continued. “It was tough losing him so suddenly — so jarring to all of us. I lost something I’d never had before.”