Alan Jackson became the first-ever recipient of the ASCAP Heritage Award during the 52nd annual ASCAP Country Music Awards in Nashville Monday night (Nov. 3).

Jackson earned the distinction of being the most-performed country songwriter and artist in ASCAP's first 100 years. ASCAP President and CEO Paul Williams and special guest presenter Connie Bradley were on hand to present Jackson with the honor.

The presentation included a video tribute highlighting some of Jackson's career milestones, including interviews with ASCAP board member Barry Coburn, former Arista Records head Tim DuBois and longtime producer Keith Stegall (pictured with Jackson at left), who were all instrumental in helping launch the country legend.

“I don’t even know what to say. I’m just an old country boy that’s had a lot of blessings," Jackson said in his acceptance speech. "Like I’ve said before, I’m just a singer of simple songs and came [to Nashville] to sing country songs, and songwriting means more to me than anything.”

Though Jackson has written and performed more than 20 No. 1 hits, he cautioned his peers not to chase success for its own sake.

“Try to remember it’s about the music," he said. "Try not to look at those charts.”

Jackson will kick off his 25th Anniversary Keepin' It Country Tour in Ft. Myers, Fla. on Jan. 8. Jon Pardi and Brandy Clark will serve as his opening acts.

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