Alan Jackson Recalls His Late Son-in-Law's Reaction to 'You'll Always Be My Baby'

Alan Jackson is releasing "You'll Always Be My Baby" as his next radio single, and the country star opened up to his record label about the song, which he wrote for his oldest daughter, Mattie's, wedding. "When Mattie got married – my oldest daughter Mattie got married four years ago she wanted me to write a song for the father/daughter dance," he shared. "So that's where it came from."

Jackson and his wife, Denise, also share daughters Alexandra and Dani, the former of whom is also married. After writing the song, Jackson told his younger daughters, "Look, I'm just going to write one song and all three of y'all can use it for your dance if you want to." "I said, 'I don't want to have to write three different songs,'" he recalled. "So, I've used it twice now." The 62-year-old shared that all of his daughters were "very touched" by the song, but the reaction he remembers most was from Mattie's late husband, Ben Selecman, who died in September 2018.

"I remember we were at home and said we had written this thing. I had a rough demo of it or something," Jackson recalled. "And we went out in the garage and sat in the truck because I didn't have any way to play it in the house. I don't know what I had…I may have had a CD or something. I don't remember now. And we played it and I remember [Selecman] looking emotional about it and saying that was just perfect or something to that effect. And that stuck with me. And he's – it was Mattie's husband who died accidentally after not quite the first year they were married. So that was a nice memory to have of that."


Selecman died after sustaining severe traumatic head injuries in a fall off a boating dock, and Jackson told Hits Daily Double last year that he was "kind of pissed off at the world" after the accident. "I just wasn't feeling right about anything," he said. 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."