Alan Jackson Scores at Billboard Music Awards

Precious Memories: Volume II Named Top Christian album

There was no performance, so chances are, you might have missed the news that Alan Jackson was also a winner Sunday night (May 18) at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, although not in a country category.

Jackson’s Precious Memories: Volume II was named top Christian album in a category that was obviously awarded outside the flashy telecast.

I have to be honest. I’ve been missing Jackson. I miss his cool, unmistakable Georgia twang. I miss the comforting stories in his songs. I miss his calming and powerful presence in our format.

It’s not like he’s pulled a Houdini and disappeared from the music scene. By all accounts, he’s busier than ever. It was just a few weeks ago we reported his appearance on the soundtrack to the star-studded impending blockbuster movie A Million Ways to Die in the West, and his Precious Memories albums have clearly been a success.

He’s touring and recording, so why am I pouting and whining? Because I want him back on country radio, too, in addition to these wonderful gospel projects. Call me selfish. I just happen to believe the more Jackson, the better!

But here’s the bigger question: Should we even worry about what genre he’s working in? Does it matter where he earns his success? That seems to be a pretty antiquated concern, especially looking at the current state of the music industry. Country music is not only filled with pop, rock and even hip-hop influences nowadays. It’s actually crossing over to those charts in some cases.

So maybe the answer to the bigger question is simply that there’s no reason to worry. Who cares about genres? Jackson can dominate in both the country music and gospel music worlds. He obviously has a special, genuine love for both.

And gospel and country music have always maintained a very complementary relationship, so why not allow that to further flourish? It’s already working. Just look at the stats. Although it’s a collection of traditional hymns, Precious Memories: Volume II still remains in the Top 50 on Billboard‘s country albums chart more than a year after its release. And the initial Precious Memories album from 2006 is nearing double-platinum status for selling almost 2 million copies.

For his part, Jackson feels immensely grateful for the fans’ incredible response to the project.

“It’s just overwhelming how many people have enjoyed these albums,” he says. “It means a lot.”

As long as he’s making music — be it twang-based or faith-based — his fans will be happy. As one of Jackson’s superfans, I’ll come down off my soapbox. Please don’t let me slip!