This year marks 40 years of marriage of Alan Jackson with his high school sweetheart, Denise.
Alan Jackson posted a photo recalling their moments over the years, saying, “40 years later…. I’d love you all over again.”
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The two started dating in high school after meeting at a Dairy Queen near their hometown of Newnan, Georgia. They married on Dec. 15, 1979, and started their family just as Jackson’s country music career took off.
Denise is actually the one that helped kickstart Alan’s career. When she was a flight attendant, she got to meet country singer Glen Campbell in an airport and told him about Alan’s dream. With Campbell’s help, Jackson signed his first publishing deal.
In 1990, the couple welcomed their first child, Mattie Denise. The year 1990 was a success for Alan as his debut album “Here in the Real World” was released.
Jackson’s career continued to grow, as did his family. Daughters Alexandra Jane and Dani Grace arrived in 1993 and 1997 respectively.
While their life together has been mostly full of happiness, they have experienced their fair share of devastation over the years. In 1997, they made the decision to separate. It was later revealed that Alan had been unfaithful and had reportedly felt that his wife was too controlling. Denise, on her side, felt she lost herself chasing Alan’s dreams and turned herself to God.
Luckily, the two managed to work through their differences thanks to intense marriage counseling.
In 2004, Denise made an appearance in Alan’s music video for his single, “Remember When.” The lyrics are the story of their love, how it has grown over the years and how they will look back on their relationship someday and say, “remember when?”
During an instrumental break in the music, the couple slow danced and shared a kiss while images of them played over the screens in the background.
Alan and Denise celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary by renewing their wedding vows.
“We learned that if a relationship’s going to be good, you have to make it a priority,” Denise told People in 2008. “Even if it’s just getting up 30 minutes before the children do in the morning, having our coffee and being together uninterrupted. Or sitting on the porch in the afternoon for 10 minutes to catch up on our day.”
Denise was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2010. Alan stayed by her side all the time and after undergoing chemotherapy, Denise has remained cancer-free ever since.
“To see her go through that, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through,” Alan explained during an episode of GAC’s “Backstory.” “I’ve been taking care of her since she was 16, but I couldn’t do anything to help her. It was tough.”
Below is the moment Alan told about Denise and invited her to join him on stage. While Denise walked out on stage Alan quickly wrapped his arm around her and smiled. After all the years, Alan’s still smitten with his wife.
While Alan Jackson continues to tour, Denise has remained mostly out of the spotlight in recent years.