Years before he became a country music superstar, Alan Jackson performed a classic country song on national television.
Jackson made an appearance on the show “You Can Be a Star” during 1985. The song he chose to sing was none other than the classic George Jones tune “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” The host introduces Jackson as “Al” before the young singer begins his performance standing on steps next to audience members.
When you watch Jackson perform 35 years ago, you can see why he would go on to become a star. The voice is there. The stage presence and charisma are there. His ability to interpret a song and make it his own is there. Even Jackson’s mustache is there. It’s clear that he is on the verge of stardom.
According to IMDb, “You Can Be a Star” aired from 1983-1989. It is described as a “daily amateur talent show for country and western music.” You can watch Alan Jackson sing “He Stopped Loving Her Today” on the show during 1985 below. Even though you can only hear him perform a small segment from the song, it’s definitely worth watching.
Alan Jackson Performs ‘He Stopped Loving Her Today’ in Memory of George Jones
Decades later, Alan Jackson performed “He Stopped Loving Her Today” on a very sad day. This time, he performed the essential country ballad in memory of George Jones – the man who made it famous. That day was April 26, 2013 and Jones had died at the age of 81.
On that day Jackson was playing a concert in Atlanta at the Chastain Park Amphitheater. Naturally, “He Stopped Loving Her Today” was added to the list of songs Alan Jackson would sing that night.
However, as part of his tribute to Jones, Jackson did more than just sing one of the Possum’s most famous songs. Jackson also said: “For my friend, George Jones, greatest country singer of all time. We love you, George. Tell Jesus I said ‘Hey’.”
Alan Jackson also posted a moving message about Jones on his Facebook page at the time of the legend’s death.
“Well, heaven better get ready for some great country music,” Alan Jackson said. “While George was known for his wild and crazy days, I’ve known him for 25 years as a friend. He had grown into a real good man. Of course, he’ll always be the greatest singer and interpreter of real country music – there’ll never be another. Like the song says, ‘You know this old world is full of singers, but just a few are chosen to tear your heart out when they sing. Imagine life without them…Who’s gonna fill their shoes.’”
You can watch Alan Jackson perform “He Stopped Loving Her Today” as a tribute to George Jones during April 2013 below.