Alan Jackson Leaves Arista Nashville

Departure Follows More Than Two Decades at the Record Label

Updated: Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011 — 2:30 p.m. ET

Alan Jackson has parted ways with his longtime record label, Arista Nashville, and its parent company Sony Music, it was announced Thursday (Jan. 20). He has sold more than 50 million albums during his 22-year tenure at the label.

A spokesperson for Jackson told that several labels have already expressed an interest in working with him but that no decision has been made regarding a new recording contract.

In late November, Jackson confirmed to that his 34 Number Ones completed his contractual obligations to Arista Nashville and that he was exploring all options for his recording career. The greatest hits compilation was released on Nov. 22.

Jackson was the first artist signed when music executive Tim DuBois launched Arista’s country division in 1989. Arista was one of the labels involved when Sony Music merged with the Bertelsman Music Group in 2004. Sony’s Nashville operations are now headed by Gary Overton, a music industry veteran who managed Jackson in the mid-’90s.

“I’ve had a great run with Arista, going all the way back to the beginning of my career when I signed with Tim DuBois,” Jackson said. “I’ve gotten to work with some real great people along the way, and we accomplished a lot. It just seems to me like the time may be right to change things up a bit and see what comes next.”

Referring to it as “an amicable parting,” the label issued a written statement saying, “Sony Music Nashville wishes to thank Alan Jackson for their long association and the many hit records achieved as a result of that association.”

Jackson begins his 2011 tour on Feb. 1 in Sudbury, Ontario, and travels overseas in March for his first tour of Australia. He’s currently writing songs for a forthcoming album.

Calvin Gilbert has served as’s managing editor since 2002. His background includes stints at the Nashville Banner, Radio & Records and Westwood One.