Mattie Jackson Selecman is Alan Jackson’s eldest daughter. Her husband, Ben Selecman, died on September 12 after a boating accident in West Palm Beach. Tragically, Mattie, 28, and Ben Selecman, 28, were newlyweds having exchanged vows in Franklin, Tennessee, in October 2017. Ben Selecman’s death was first announced in a post on Alan Jackson’s website. The post said Selecman’s cause of death was “traumatic head injuries.” In addition to Jackson’s family, Selecman is survived by his parents, Mark and Brenda, his brother, Cole Selecman and his wife, Morgan.
Ben Selecman was an Assistant District Attorney with the Davidson County DA’s office in Nashville. DA Glenn Funk told the Tennessean, “He really was a rising star and I’m sick that we lost him, but I’m grateful for every day that he worked for us because he was great.” Funk added that his office was “thankful for every day that Ben had the opportunity to serve the people of Davidson County. Our prayers are with Ben’s family. He will be truly missed.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Mattie Only Agreed to Go on a Date With Selecman After He Pursued Her for 3 Months
Tragically, Selecman and Mattie Jackson had been married less than a year. The couple was wed in Franklin, Tennessee, in October 2017, according to Southern Bride. The couple met first at a friend’s wedding but then didn’t reconnect until two years later while Selecman worked as a clerk for a judge in Nashville. Jackson’s daughter only agreed to go out with the aspiring lawyer after three months of unrelenting asking. Mattie described Selecman’s proposal saying, “He pursued me until I finally saw the handsome, outgoing, Godly guy I needed. After deciding we were meant for forever, he took me on a picnic on the Old Historic Natchez Trace, where we enjoyed incredible wine, cheese, dancing and the most romantic proposal.” At their wedding, the couple’s first dance was to her father’s fist radio single, “Blue Blooded Woman and a Redneck Man.”
Selecman and Jackson spent their honeymoon in South Africa and Seychelles. During their time in South Africa, Jackson said she went on “12-hour day” hunting safaris with her husband.
2. Mattie Spent Time Studying in Greece
A Nashville Lifestyles feature on Mattie says that she is a certified sommelier who spent time studying in Greece and at the Joseph Phelps Vineyard in Napa Valley. Mattie told Food & Wine in a separate interview that being from Nashville makes her “a unicorn since no one else is from here.” According to a Palm Beach Post article on her father, Mattie graduated from college in 2012. On her Facebook page, Mattie says she graduated from the University of Tennessee after studying the English language. Mattie is also a graduate of the Franklin Road Academy.
In 2010, her father told the Tennessean that Mattie “just moved into an apartment and started cooking food and we had to buy her cooking utensils, and it’s like she’s a little adult now. It’s amazing.”
3. Until June 2018, Mattie Jackson Had Been Operating a Restaurant in Nashville
Up until June 2018, Mattie ran the restaurant Salt & Vine restaurant in the Sylvan Heights neighborhood of Nashville. An Instagram post announcing the restaurant’s closure said, “It’s been an equally joyful and rewarding road, we can’t thank you all enough for your on-going support of Salt & Vine and for being a beacon for us over the past 2 years. For that, we are truly grateful.”
Mattie moved from Austin back to her home in Nashville to set up her restaurant. Speaking to Nashville Lifestyles, Mattie said she was seeking to “take the pretension out of wine.”
4. One of Alan Jackson’s Other Daughters Was Arrested for Assaulting a Cop in 2013
In August 2013, Jackson’s second eldest daughter, Alexandra, was arrested and accused of assaulting a cop as well as consuming alcohol when she was underage. Alexandra Jackson was 20 at the time of her arrest in Nashville. Police said at the time that Alexandra Jackson had “consumed a large amount of alcohol.” The arresting officers then said that Alexandra Selecman became “visibly irate.” Alexandra wasn’t driving the car she was traveling in.
The officers had to call for back-up as Alexandra resisted arrest. She was also accused of telling the officers that her father “would do anything” she wanted him to do.
5. Mattie’s Parents Split Up When She Was 8 Due to Alan Jackson’s Infidelity
Mattie Denise Jackson is Alan Jackson’s eldest daughter, the singer has two other young children, Alexandra, born in August 1993, and Dani Grace, born in August 1997. Jackson has been married to his high school sweetheart, Denise Jackson, since December 1979. In 1997, Alan Jackson and his wife split due to the pressure of his touring schedule as well as his infidelity. There were widespread rumors that Jackson had a “fling” with country singer Faith Hill.
Jackson’s wife discussed their marriage at length in her New York Times bestseller, “It’s All About Him: Finding the Love of My Life.” In 2010, Denise Jackson was diagnosed with colon cancer but ultimately made a full recovery. When Jackson won Entertainer of the Year at the 1995 Country Music Awards, the singer paid to tribute to his wife saying, “There is just one person I need to thank for this award. I married her when she was too young to know any better. I drug her away from her family and friends, miles away, and made her live in a basement for five-and-a-half years in Nashville, but she never complained about it.”
In January 2012, Alan Jackson sold his Jupiter, Florida, mansion for around $15 million dollars. The house included the contents, one of which was an autographed guitar from Jackson. On his official website, Jackson said that he due to perform in Charleston on September 14 and Charlotte on September 15. Those concerts have been postponed due to Hurrican Florence.