Carrie Underwood Leads Career-Spanning Alan Jackson Tribute at 2022 CMA Awards

Carrie Underwood, Dierks Bentley, Jon Pardi and Lainey Wilson put their own spin on some of Alan Jackson’s most beloved hits during a spirited tribute medley at the 2022 CMA Awards in Nashville on Wednesday night (Nov. 9).

Underwood started things with a subdued version of the Jackson classic “Remember When,” with the Oklahoma native mentioning that her first concert was Alan Jackson himself. Soon after, the camera shifted to another stage, where Pardi, Bentley and Wilson were each on hand to take a spin on the musical merry go ’round that included Jackson’s 1993 “Chattahoochee,” the 2002 hit “Drive (For Daddy Gene)” and 1991’s “Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow.”

The star-studded tribute came as the Country Music Association presented Jackson with the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award, an honor previously given to Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride and Johnny Cash, among others.

“Country music has been real good to me,” Jackson said in his acceptance speech. “I fell in love with it when I was a young man. It’s real American music to me. I’m so blessed.”

According to the CMA, the award is given to “an artist who has reached the highest degree of recognition in country music, and recognizes an artist who has earned national and international prominence through concert performances, humanitarian efforts, philanthropy, streaming numbers, record sales and public representation, and has contributed to the growth of the country music genre.”
Jackson, who has charted 26 No. 1 hits on the country charts since his career launched in the early 1990s, was recently forced to postpone multiple dates of his Last Call: One More for the Road Tour to 2023. In 2021, the country star revealed he had been diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a non-life-threatening neurological condition that affects his gross motor skills, making live performances more challenging.

The Country Music Association held the 2022 CMA Awards on Nov. 9 at Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville. The show, co-hosted by Luke Bryan and former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning, aired live on ABC.