When Jackson Dean found out his song, “Don’t Come Lookin,'” had reached the No. 1 spot in late November, he was riding high. He posted a video while on a road trip from the east coast back to Nashville in which he thanked country radio and fans for their support of the song.
Unfortunately, that feeling didn’t last too long, and soon after he shared the celebratory video, he was plagued by car issues.
“I was driving down I-65 right outside of Horse Cave, Kentucky, and that drive is so beautiful. All of a sudden, I heard a big clank and thought, ‘That wasn’t good,'” Dean tells People of the incident.
The noise he heard was the sound of the wheel bearing on his ’06 Chevy truck breaking. Dean now found himself on the side of road, which is not where one would expect to find the artist with the No. 1 song in the country. Luckily, he was able to get his truck to a repairman, but according to the mechanic’s diagnosis, Dean “wouldn’t be going anywhere any time soon.” The singer was forced to call his manager, who agreed to pick him up.
Although breaking down on the side of road isn’t anyone’s idea of a good day, Dean was able to turn it into something positive. He used the time waiting for his manager to reflect on the achievement of his first-ever No. 1 and make some calls to the people who helped make it happen.
“I spent that time making phone calls to all of the people on my team and thanking them for their hard work and belief in me,” Dean says. “It takes a village to make these major milestones happen between management, A&R, promo, publicity, marketing — the list goes on. I wouldn’t have had the time to connect with all those folks and share in that moment if I hadn’t been broken down.”
In the end, Dean ended the day with thankfulness despite the irritating nature of the situation.
“I was frustrated at first about the breakdown, but then I quickly remembered that I had the No. 1 song in the country, and really, what could I possibly be upset about?!” he says. “It’s funny how life shakes out sometimes.”
Dean has a busy 2023 ahead of him as he joins Blake Shelton on his Back to the Honky Tonk tour with fellow opener Carly Pearce. Dean will also be honored at the 2023 Country Radio Seminar as one of the New Faces of Country Music.