Alan Jackson has released a new song, “Racing the Dark,” in honor of the release of his daughter, Mattie Selecman’s book, Lemons on Friday. Jackson and Selecman wrote the song together, to go along with her new book, which details her journey after the unexpected loss of her husband, Ben, while still newlyweds.
“I’m really surprised how well she was able to handle all that. I know I couldn’t have done what she’s done,” Jackson says. “One day she came to me with this piece of paper and said, ‘I wrote this song…the lyrics,’ and asked me to put it to music. So, I wrote the melody for it, and it turned out to be a very sweet song.”
“It’s a beautiful song. And it’s well-written, lyrically,” he adds. “She told a little more of her story in it…so I’m anxious for my fans to get to hear this.”
Jackson previously said it was not only hard to watch his eldest daughter grieve, but it was hard for him to lose his first son-in-law.
“When he died, I was kind of pissed off at the world,” Jackson told HITS Daily Double. “I just wasn’t feeling right about anything. You know how I was raised: I grew up with four older sisters, then Denise and our three girls. It’s all I was ever around: girls and women. So having a son-in-law was having a boy I could fish with, work on cars and stuff with. It was tough losing him so suddenly—so jarring to all of us. I lost something I’d never had before.”
Selecman admits she was painfully honest in Lemons on Friday, sharing both the highs and lows of her life since her husband passed away.
“It’s very honest, and I don’t really hold much back,” Selecman told Everything Nash at an industry event celebrating the book’s release. “I feel very at peace with it. And I think just the feeling that I had when I read C.S. Lewis’ [A Grief Observed], his words, and how that broke what felt like severe isolation in my circumstance. You have to be vulnerable and honest to be able to do that for somebody else. I’ve lived through everything, I’ve survived everything, and I’m very grateful for what my life looks like right now.”
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