Alan Jackson's heart-wrenching tribute to 9/11 victims is remembered as a song that defined history.
After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, many lives were lost, and their loved ones remained forever scarred.
To help heal their broken hearts, Jackson, 59, penned a song called "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)." Follow us on our Twitter account, @amomama_usa, to learn more.
In an interview, the country singer explained the process that went into the lyric composition.
“I just pretty much visualized a lot of those scenes and stories I’d heard and seen on television or heard people talk about,” he said.
“The song came out of nowhere in the middle of the night — the chorus did. Just a gift. And I got up and scribbled it down and put the melody down so I wouldn’t forget it. And then the next day, I started piecing all those verses together that were the thoughts I’d had or visuals I’d had, and … that was about it.”
Jackson, who has sold over 80 million records, performed the song at the CMA Awards back in 2001. He sang it again during the 10th anniversary at the Washington National Cathedral.
Speaking about the significance of the song, he said, “At the time, it was very meaningful to people, and I felt really good about contributing something. And then I thought it would just fade away, and then we’d ease it out of the show, but now I see people out there that I feel like are waiting for that song, you know?”
Jackson went on explaining that the song remains a more popular song when doing tours.
“I think it’s more than just the 9/11 connection,” he said. “I mean, the real hook in it is quotes right out of the Bible anyway. And still, at night, it’s one of my biggest songs in the show. It’s hard to follow it, but I see so many that are holding up them lighters and are glad to hear it, and I think are moved by it, and glad I did it."
“And I heard so many stories back during that time when it was happening. People said, ’Oh, they quit their jobs, and they changed their lifestyles and started going to church and found somebody to marry!’ It was just like all these things that affected. … Those were big changes!”
"Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)" reached number one on the country music chart. The song also earned him five CMA awards.
Jackson told Classic Country Music that writing the song was not easy. Neither was releasing it because he didn't want to capitalize on a tragedy.
But it was Keith Stegall, an American country music recording artist, and record producer, who convinced him to put it out there.
In 2002, Jackson received the ACM Award Song of the Year. He moved the audience to tears when he gave his acceptance speech.
Jackson's own voice was unsteady as it was hard to get through what he had to say. Viewers were also choked up as he explained the emotional words that reflected the feelings of many.
Jackson is best known for mixing traditional honky tonk and mainstream country sounds and composing many of his own songs.
He has recorded 16 studio albums, three greatest hits albums, two Christmas albums, two gospel albums, and several compilations.
Jackson kicked off his 25th Anniversary Keepin' It Country tour in 2015. The tour started with a concert in Estero, FL on January 8 at the Germane Arena.