Country singer. Born October 17, 1958, in Newnan, Georgia. Jackson grew up in rural Georgia; he lived with his parents and four older sisters in a house built around his grandfather’s old toolshed. Shortly after marrying his high school sweetheart, Denise, in 1979, Jackson moved to Nashville, Tennessee to pursue a career in music. After a long series of rejections, he finally landed a recording deal with Arista Records. The tremendous success of his debut album, Here in the Real World (1990), marked Jackson’s arrival among a group of country artists, including Randy Travis, Clint Black, Travis Tritt, Garth Brooks, and Vince Gill that represented a new brand of traditionalism in country music and the end of the synthesized pop country trend of the 1980s.
An accomplished songwriter, Jackson wrote much of his first album, which remained on the U.S. country charts for more than a year. His next two albums, Don’t Rock the Jukebox (1991) and A Lot About Livin’ (and a Little ‘Bout Love) (1992) were even bigger hits, spawning five No.1 singles each. Notable among these hits were “Love’s Got a Hold on You,” “Midnight in Montgomery” (Jackson’s tribute to the legendary country star Hank Williams), and “Chattahoochee.” With the 1994 release of his fifth album,Who I Am, Jackson’s record sales reached a total of over 10 million.