Watch Chris Stapleton honor Alan Jackson with a performance of “Here In The Real World.”
In addition to the televised ACM Awards, the ACM has established a separate smaller ceremony called the ACM Honors. This ceremony honors winners of Special Awards, Industry Awards, Studio Recording Awards, and the Songwriter of the Year Award.
In 2018, Alan Jackson was chosen as the recipient of the Cliffe Stone Icon Award, one of the most prestigious awards of the ACM Honors. Although Jackson was unable to attend the ceremony due to a respiratory infection, his daughter, Mattie, accepted the award on his behalf.
Chris Stapleton was elected to perform a song in Jackson’s honor. Stapleton chose to perform Jackson’s second-ever single, “Here in the Real World.” The song peaked at number three on the US Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart in 1990 and was certified two times platinum.
Although the ceremony wasn’t televised, you can still watch pieces of Chris Stapleton’s performance through videos that fans have posted.
What Does Alan Jackson Think of Chris Stapleton?
During an interview with GQ, Jackson said that he went to Nashville during the 80s “to make real country music,” after many performers in the country music genre had started to lean towards pop influences. Many consider Christ Stapleton to be a modern performer who is bringing the country back to country music. However, Jackson surprisingly disagrees.
During his interview, Jackson said, “I mean, even Chris Stapleton—I love Chris, he’s authentic. A real writer. Musician. He opened for me for a while before he hit so big. I’m a big fan of his. He was a bluegrass singer and has written bluegrass stuff. But what he’s making now really isn’t real country. It’s more like bluesy, Southern rock kinda stuff.“
Regardless of whether or not Jackson believes Chris Stapleton is the new savior of country music, he does think Stapleton is the closest thing you’ll get to authentic country music today. “I love it, it’s great, but he’s the closest thing to country out there,” Jackson said.