Alan Jackson is opening about the impact of his son-in-law’s death. The country legend was working on an album at the time and ultimately shelved it as he went through the grieving process.

Ben Selecman, who was married to Jackson’s eldest daughter Mattie, died in 2018 after suffering a traumatic head injury from a fall while helping a woman onto a boat in West Palm Beach, Fla. He was 28 years old.

“When he died, I was kind of pissed off at the world. I just wasn’t feeling right about anything,” he shares with Hits Daily Double.

That shelved album would later become Where Have You Gone, Jackson’s newest record. The project features a series of sentimental songs written for his family, including “You’ll Always Be My Baby” and “I Do,” both of which he wrote for his daughters’ weddings, and “Where Her Heart's Always Been,” which he wrote in honor of his late mother for her funeral.

Growing up in Newnan, Ga., Jackson was surrounded by four older sisters. He later married his high school sweetheart, Denise, and welcomed three daughters: 30-year-old Mattie, 27-year-old Ali and 23-year-old Dani. Jackson notes that having a son-in-law created a special bond between the only two men in the family.

“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,” he explains.

Jackson released Where Have You Gone, his first album in six years, on Friday (May 14).

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

These Country Artists Are Keeping Traditional Country Alive:

How Well Do You Know '90s Country Music?