Alan Jackson Raises $152K for the Town of Mineral, Va.
The town of Mineral, Va. -- which has a population of fewer than 500 people -- has inherited a not-so-small fortune, thanks to the charitable efforts of country superstar Alan Jackson. The earthquake-ravaged eastern Virginia town was the lucky recipient of a free concert from the country titan after winning a radio-sponsored contest for garnering the most online votes. The concert raised a whopping $152,000 to help rebuild the tiny community.
"We had this contest going on radio where every town could vote, and whoever got the most votes, I'd come and do a free show for," Jackson tells the Boot. "This town had the earthquake, and it hit the school and some other buildings in town, and [they] didn't get much attention for it. Somebody in that town, a fan, got on the internet and rallied all this together, and got everybody across the country to vote for this little town to win that contest for the show. That's how it started."
The concert took place Sunday (May 20) with an astounding 6,000 fans packing the parking lot of a local high school to enjoy Jackson's set. More than half of the crowd were locals and were given free admission to the concert, with the remaining concert-goers and donors tallying the impressive grand total. Jackson offered an autographed photo to anyone who donated money to the cause.
"I think it's a pretty cool little story," says Jackson. "I've played so many shows now for everything you can imagine. You walk out on stage in the arenas and all, it gets to be kind of routine. This [was] a little different. You don't have to do the same show. You don't have to go out there and try to be all energetic. Every now and then it's good to do a show like that."
Jackson is currently gearing up for the release of his next studio album, 'Thirty Miles West,' out June 5. On the choosing the unique title of the new project, he explains, “There’s this highway that’s been in existence for forever now — it’s called the Dixie Highway and it runs from north of Michigan all the way down to South Florida, and I wrote a song about it that’s on the album." He adds, “I grew up on Highway 34 outside of Newnan, Georgia, and that’s where we came up with ‘Thirty Miles West.’ I think we were about thirty miles west of the official part of the Dixie Highway that runs through Georgia.”
The album's current single, 'So You Don't Have To Love Me Anymore' is currently Top 30 and climbing. Click here for Jackson's upcoming tour dates.