Alan Jackson’s Heartfelt Tribute To His Friend Jimmy Buffett
Alan Jackson and Zac Brown performing a tribute to Jimmy Buffett at the 2023 CMA Awards. PHOTO: TERRY WYATT / GETTY
Alan Jackson returned to the CMA Awards stage with a stirring tribute to the late Jimmy Buffett.
Country stars from all over have been sharing their tributes about Jimmy Buffett after his passing, but Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett shared a relationship and success like few others.
A poignant tribute to Jimmy Buffett took center stage at the 57th CMA Awards on Wednesday night. Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown, Mac McAnally, and Caroline Jones joined forces to honor the late legend, who passed away on September 1st at the age of 76. Each artist, having had the privilege of befriending and performing with Buffett during their careers, contributed to a moving and unforgettable performance.
Alan Jackson fans were ecstatic when it was first announced that he would be returning to perform at the 2023 CMA Awards. Organizers were undoubtedly hoping his appearance would unfold smoothly, keeping their fingers crossed.
Back in 2016, Alan reportedly walked out of the ceremony when Beyonce joined The Chicks for a performance to celebrate 50 years of the CMAs. Prior to the event, Alan had made his feelings about pop stars appearing at country music award shows very clear – he’s not a fan.
Jackson has been a central performer at the CMA Awards in the past and is even a three-time recipient of the CMA’s coveted Entertainer of the Year Award. This year, he participated in the heartfelt tribute to his late friend Jimmy Buffet.
Jackson and Buffett collaborated on multiple occasions throughout their years in the industry, with one of the standout moments being their joint effort on the chart-topping hit “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere.” This song not only clinched a CMA Award for Vocal Event of the Year but also represented Buffett’s first-ever award in his extensive career spanning decades.
Following Buffett’s passing, Jackson expressed his deep respect and fondness for him through a heartfelt social media post. He chose to commemorate their connection by sharing lyrics from another collaborative piece, “Boats to Build.”
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Jackson and Zac Brown graced the stage in outfits that the “It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere” artist would have surely appreciated — Jackson, the ’90s hitmaker, sported sunglasses and his signature cowboy hat, while Brown, known for “Chicken Fried,” went barefoot and donned denim shorts.
The two extended the heartfelt tribute by delivering a moving rendition of the farewell song “Adios My Friend” before raising a glass in memory of the late musician and playing his iconic hit “Margaritaville.” With nostalgic photos setting the backdrop and the performers immersed in the music, the moment truly embodied a joyous celebration of the late icon and his carefree island lifestyle.
There’s no doubt that the CMA selected the ideal ensemble of artists to honor Jimmy Buffett. Knowing that his music had a profound impact, he would undoubtedly feel proud and honored.