You'll Always Be My Baby

Album: Where Have You Gone (2021)
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Songfacts®:

  • This nostalgic song finds Alan Jackson reflecting on his oldest daughter Mattie's childhood milestones. From her first steps to her first car, he assures her she'll "always be my baby."
  • Jackson wrote the upbeat song for the father/daughter dance when Mattie married assistant district attorney Ben Selecman in the summer of 2017. He told his other two daughters, Ali and Dani, rather than writing a new tune for each of them, they can both use "You'll Always Be My Baby" for their father/daughter dance too.
  • Alan Jackson recorded the song for his 2021 album Where Have You Gone intending to have listeners play it at weddings. It is one of two songs on the record he wrote for his daughters' marriages. The other is a track called "I Do" that he penned for Ali's 2020 nuptials, which according to the singer "just came out one day."
  • Ben Selecman died unexpectedly on September 12, 2018 after suffering severe traumatic head injuries from a fall on a boat dock. It was one of a series of tragic events for Jackson's family that left him lacking the spirit to make music for an extended period. Consequently, Where Have You Gone is the country star's first new studio album in six years.
  • Jackson recalled in 2021 that his late son-in-law was very emotional after hearing this song. "I remember we were at home and said we had written this thing. I had a rough demo of it or something," he said. "We went out in the garage and sat in the truck because I didn't have any way to play it in the house."

    When he played it to Ben, Jackson remembers him "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."
  • Jackson released the twangy tune as the second single from Where Have You Gone. Keith Stegall produced the song along with the rest of the album; he has helmed every Jackson album except 2006's Like Red on a Rose.

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