Chris Stapleton gave new meaning to Alan Jackson’s 1990 hit “Here In the Real World,” with his soulful take on the song during the 12th Annual ACM Honors in 2018.
Stapleton’s voice is unlike anyone else in country music, and witnessing him perform at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville is a divine experience. The singer helped honor Alan Jackson, who was being recognized with the most prestigious of all awards presented at the ACM Honors, the Cliffie Stone Icon Award. Each year, the award is handed out to an artist the ACM feels has made a significant contribution to country music throughout their career.
While Stapleton often brings his bluesy, Southern soulful style to his covers, he did not do that with his performance of “Here in the Real World.” Instead, Stapleton kept things as authentic as possible, performing the song true to Jackson’s traditional style.
Sadly, Jackson was unable to attend the ceremony – saying that he was recovering from respiratory infection – but he sent his daughter Mattie Jackson Selecman to accept his award on his behalf.
The following day, Jackson took to social media to express his gratitude to the ACM, daughter Mattie, and his fans. He also took the time to thank Chris Stapleton, along with Jon Pardi, and Lauren Alaina, who all honored Jackson with musical performances.
Without a doubt, Stapleton’s tribute was one of the standout moments of the night.
Alan Jackson’s First Smash Hit
Written by Alan Jackson with country music songwriter Mark Irwin, “Here in the Real World” is an observation between the difference of an unrealistic movie situation and the real world. “Oh, if life were like the movies, I’d never be blue,” he said.
And in the chorus, the man in the song reflected what it’s really like in this world. “But here in the real world, it’s not that easy at all. ‘Cause when hearts get broken, it’s real tears that fall. And darlin’ it’s sad but true. But the one thing I’ve learned from you is how the boy don’t always get the girl here in the real world,” the song goes.
Released in 1990 as the second single and title track from Jackson’s debut album of the same name, “Here in the Real World,” became a smash hit for Jackson. It became his first Top 10 country hit as it peaked at No. 3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts and No. 1 on the Canadian RPM Top Country Tracks charts.
You can listen to Chris Stapleton’s version of the song in the video below.
Alan Jackson, chris stapleton
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