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Alan Jackson's Latest CD <i> What I Do</i>  Strikes a Chord with Country Fans - 2004-10-01

Georgia native Alan Jackson arrived in Nashville in 1985, and was signed to Arista Records five years later. Throughout the 1990s, Jackson earned a reputation as a neotraditionalist who maintained his popularity while avoiding the growing trend of recording pop-influenced Country music. His 14th album has just been released, and Alan Jackson continues to strike a chord with Country fans.

"Too Much of A Good Thing," the first single released from Alan Jackson's new album, What I Do, took only eight weeks to reach the Top 10 on Billboard's Country Singles chart. "What I Do" entered the Top 200 and Country Albums rankings at Number One. The album sold 178,000 copies its first week of release, enough to push Country superstar Tim McGraw down to Number 2 on both charts. This marks the first time in a decade that two Country artists have had back-to-back Number One entries on the Billboard 200 list. Alan debuted at the top of both charts twice before - in 2002 with Drive, and again last year with his anthology, Greatest Hits, Volume 2.

He wrote five of the 12 songs on What I Do. Jackson's nephew, Adam Wright, also contributed two tracks, including this ballad called "Strong Enough."

Alan recently signed Adam and his wife Shannon to his new ACR record label. He also plans to release some of his own special projects on the imprint. Alan says, "I've always wanted to have a label that I could do gospel, bluegrass or whatever I wanted to that wasn't actually mainstream stuff like I have [released] on Arista."

Guests on What I Do include singer Patty Loveless and The Oak Ridge Boys' Richard Sterban, who adds his recognizable bass vocals on the uptempo "Burnin' The Honky Tonks Down."

Alan has cut back on the number of tour dates he performs each year. He now prefers to spend more time at home with his wife and three daughters. Earlier this year, however, he teamed with Martina McBride for a 30-city tour, and they've just extended the outing for 30 more dates through the end of November. Alan's scheduled to appear at the November 9 Country Music Association Awards in Nashville. He leads this year's CMA Award contenders with seven nominations. Jackson is also a nominee for Favorite Male Artist at the upcoming American Music Awards.

Three live tracks are included on his new album. One is the title song, which Alan says, " [it] gave me a chance to thank all the people who've supported my music all this time."