Back to news 11/16/21


Alan Jackson

Alan Jackson has collaborated with daughter Mattie Jackson Selecman on a new song that’s being released today (November 16) in conjunction with her first book.

“Racing the Dark,” co-written by the father and daughter and recorded by the Country Music Hall of Famer, is available now – the same day that Selecman’s Lemons on Friday (Thomas Nelson/W Publishing Group) arrives everywhere books are sold.  In the humble and inspiring book, Selecman shares her journey of facing the most heartbreaking loss of her life – the sudden and tragic passing of her husband Ben from a traumatic brain injury just 11 months into their marriage.

“I’m really surprised how well she was able to handle all that. I know I couldn’t have done what she’s done,” Jackson says. “One day she came to me with this piece of paper and said, ‘I wrote this song…the lyrics,’ and asked me to put it to music. So, I wrote the melody for it, and it turned out to be a very sweet song.”

In addition to the companion song, Lemons on Friday features a foreword by Alan and wife Denise Jackson, a New York Times best-selling author herself. The couple details their perspective of Mattie’s love story, the pain she faced, and the renewed hope they see in her.

In Lemons on Friday, Selecman carries readers through the early weeks of her grief and the many questions that followed. She also touches on how, through her pain, she found new purpose in NaSHEville, a company she co-founded that benefits orphans, human trafficking victims and widows.

“Racing the Dark” marks the first songwriting collaboration by Jackson and his oldest daughter, but she – and her sisters – have been the inspiration behind several of his songs. His most recent album, Where Have You Gone (released in May) featured two songs written for his daughters’ weddings – “You’ll Always Be My Baby” and “I Do.” Mattie and her siblings also came to life in such classics as “Drive (for Daddy Gene),” “Remember When” and the fan-favorite “Job Description.”

“It’s a beautiful song. And it’s well-written, lyrically,” Jackson says. “She told a little more of her story in it…so I’m anxious for my fans to get to hear this.” “Racing the Dark” is streaming now; a special lyric video can be viewed HERE. Selecman appeared earlier today (November 16) on NBC’s TODAY, where she was interviewed by Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager about Lemons on Friday – watch HERE.

A member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and an inductee to the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Alan Jackson’s membership among music’s all-time greats is part of a long line of career-defining accolades that include three CMA Entertainer of the Year honors, 30 years of membership in the Grand Ole Opry, a Billboard ranking as one of the Top 10 Country Artists of All-Time, induction to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Heritage Award as the most-performed country songwriter-artist of ASCAP’s first 100 years.

The man from rural Newnan, GA has sold nearly 60-million albums worldwide, ranks as one of the 10 best-selling male vocalists of all-time (rock, pop and country). He has released more than 60 singles – registering 50 Top Ten hits and 35 #1s (including 26 Billboard chart-toppers). He has earned more than 150 major music industry awards – including 19 Academy of Country Music Awards, 16 Country Music Association Awards, a pair of Grammys and ASCAP’s Founders and Golden Note Awards.

Jackson – one of the most successful and respected singer-songwriters in music – just released his latest album, Where Have You Gone, in May. The 21-track collection, which topped the country album chart, features 15 songs penned solely by the music icon. He’s also the man behind one of Nashville’s most-popular tourist stops, AJ’s Good Time Bar, a four-story honky-tonk in the heart of downtown featuring daily live music and a rooftop view of Music City.

Mattie Jackson Selecman is a certified sommelier and previously owned a wine bar in Nashville. She also has a degree in creative writing from the University of Tennessee. Tragically, she lost her husband of less than a year, Ben Selecman, in September 2018 after he suffered a traumatic brain injury while on vacation in Florida. Despite her grief, Mattie is pushing forward and has dedicated herself to helping others. Mattie and her business partner, Brooke Tometich, started a philanthropic merchandise brand dubbed “NaSHEville” in order to help women and children in need—specifically orphans, widows, and trafficked women.