RELUCTANT HERO

Alan Jackson's latest single is shaping up to be his biggest hit ever. He debuted "Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)," a poignant ballad about the events of Sept. 11, on the CMA Awards telecast to an intensely emotional response from the live audience, practically stopping the show. Then he watched the song zoom up the charts faster than anything he's ever recorded - and its lyrics were even entered into the Congressional Record.

More important, "Where Were You" has galvanized fans across America desperate to make sense of the horrors they saw that September day and aching to express their pain, grief and anger.

The amazing success of the song makes its soft-spoken creator, well ... just a little uncomfortable.

"The whole reception it's gotten has been overwhelming, to be honest," admits Alan. "After we did the CMAs, I couldn't hardly deal with it. I've had so many compliments and comments, it's almost made me feel weird about it, in a way. I'm glad and very proud that everybody liked it, but it was almost hard to deal with, really." He needn't have worries - listeners have embraced the song wholeheartedly, recognizing it as an honest cry from the heart.

Still, Alan was a little nervous about how people would accept a song that depicts the nation's many reactions to the events of Sept. 11 - a tragedy that left him stunned and devastated.

Read the entire story behind the Alan Jackson hit that's helping heal the nation in the current Newsstand Issue!

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