August 29, 2019

How Alan Jackson's Wife of 39 Years Saved Their Marriage

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Alan Jackson and his wife Denise have been through many struggles in their nearly four decades of marriage since meeting in high school. 

Born Denise Jackson in Newnan, Georgia, the famous country singer's wife stuck by his side long before fame entered the picture. The story of how they met is a funny one. 

Meeting her sweetheart

According to Country Fancast, Alan and Denise were at a Dairy Queen when the singer threw a penny that landed in Denise's shirt. When Alan requested his penny back, Denise believed Alan had connived the whole thing.

Alan Jackson and Denise Jackson attend the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Medallion Ceremony in Nashville, Tennsee on October 22, 2017 | Photo: Getty Images


Alan would not let it go, however. He got in her car and hid as she drove home, alarming her when he jumped out. Somehow though, he stole her heart that fateful afternoon. By December 1979, they were married.

Setting him up 

Alan took up a traditional provider role, paying for his wife's college tuition and even buying a car so she could move around on her own. Denise later got her own job, and when she gave back to her husband, it came in a big way. 

Alan Jackson and Denise Jackson attend the 36th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Los Angeles, California on May 9, 2001 | Photo: Getty Images


Denise's job as a flight attendant was the single biggest stepping stone to her husband's success. Alan, still a struggling musician, might have remained unknown if not for what his wife did without hesitation.

One day, Denise was at work and noticed "Rhinestone Cowboy" singer Glen Campbell at the airport. With confidence, she went to him and talked about her husband. As a result, Campbell gave the woman a business card that would change everything. 

Making it big

Soon enough, Alan was signed onto a Nashville publishing company called Arista Records, and he secured a songwriting deal. He released his first album, "Here in the Real World," in February 1990.


Alan Jackson and Denise Jackson attend the 46th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 3, 2011 | Photo: Getty Images

In June that year, Denise and Alan welcomed their first girl, Mattie Denise. They would go on to have two more girls, Alexandra Jane, and Dani Grace in 1993 and 1997 respectively. 


Going through struggles

Along with more kids, Alan also made enough sales to buy a new home. Unfortunately, his wealth in both family and a career was not enough to prevent the icon from falling short in his relationship. 

In 1997, Alan and Denise split up for several months. They reunited the next year. Years later, it came to light that Alan's infidelity was the reason behind the unexpected separation. 

Alan Jackson and family Ben Selecman, Mattie Jackson, Dani Jackson, Denise Jackson, and Alexandra Jackson attend the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Medallion Ceremony in Nashville, Tennessee on October 22, 2017 | Photo: Getty Images


Saving a marriage

Denise' tell-all book "It's All About Him," released in 2007, revealed her husband's cheating ways. Through marriage counseling, the pair were able to make it work. 

Denise also pointed to renewed Christian beliefs in an interview she did with People in 2007. When asked how she forgave Alan she said, "I really had no choice. If I wanted to have my marriage to be restored, I had to forgive. I had to draw my strength from God."

Battling sickness

Three years after disclosing their marital issues, the couple faced another battle — cancer. Denis was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2010. Again, the couple's world turned upside down. 


Alan Jackson and his wife Denise attend the 36th annual Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee on November 6, 2002 | Photo: Getty Images

They prayed together, and Alan remained by his wife's side as she underwent chemotherapy treatment for the disease. He spoke about the journey in 2012. 


"[The diagnosis] made us change our whole outlook on life, what we value and what's important. That's what happens in situations like that," he told Palm Beach Post.

Remembering old times

When Denise pulled through, the couple decided that they no longer needed as many properties, selling off some of them and spending more time together instead. 


Alan also wrote a song called "Remember When" to honor his marriage. Denise appears in the video, dancing with her husband. The girls are also featured in the clip. 

The couple survived though it all, and Denise was the glue that kept them together. As they say, a man's success has a lot to do with the type of woman he chooses to have in his life. It looks like Alan chose just the right one for him.