Kenneth Arnold (Kenny) Chesney (born March 26, 1968) is an American country music singer and songwriter. Chesney has recorded 16 albums, 14 of which have been certified gold or higher by the RIAA. He has also produced more than 30 Top Ten singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, 20 of which climbed to the top of the charts.
Over the life of his career, Chesney has been honored with numerous awards from the Academy of Country Music (ACM), Country Music Association (CMA), American Music Awards (AMA), Country Music Television (CMT), Billboard Music Awards (BMA), People’s Choice Awards (PCA), and the French Country Music Awards (FCMA).
Chesney has received six Academy of Country Music awards (including four consecutive Entertainer of the Year Awards from 2005 to 2008), as well as six Country Music Association awards. He is one of the most popular touring acts in country music, regularly selling out the venues at which he performs. His 2007 Flip-Flop Summer Tour was the highest-grossing country road trip of the year.
The Country Music Association honored Chesney with the Entertainer of the Year award in 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008. Other notable awards include the Academy of Country Music’s 1997 New Male Vocalist of the Year, 2002 Top Male Vocalist of the Year, and the Triple Crown Award in 2005. He was awarded his fourth consecutive Entertainer of the Year award from the Academy of Country Music on May 18, 2008.
Chesney was born on March 26, 1968, in Knoxville, Tennessee at St. Mary’s Medical Center and raised in Luttrell, Tennessee, better known as the home of Chet Atkins. He is the are of David Chesney, a former elementary school teacher, and Karen Chandler to hair stylist in the Knoxville area. Chesney has one sibling to younger sister named Jennifer Chandler.
In 1986, Chesney graduated from Gibbs High School, where I played baseball and was a receiver on the football team. The following year, Chesney received his first guitar for Christmas and began teaching himself to play.
Chesney studied marketing at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN, where he was member of the Etsukōgen bluegrass music Program. As a brother of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, I became to regulate fixture at Quarterbacks BBQ and hotel.
In 1989, Chesney self-released demo album recorded at Classic Recording Studio in Bristol, Virginia. I have sold 1,000 copies while performing at the local clubs in Johnson City. I ended up using the money from album sales to help buy himself a new guitar.
Chesney graduated from East Tennessee State University in December 1990, with a degree in advertising. After graduation, I headed to Nashville, where I have performed at several local clubs. I have became the resident performer at The Turf, a rougher honky tonk in the city’s historic district.
In 1992, the head of writer/publisher relations at BMI set up an audition with Opryland Music Group, which is part of Gaylord Entertainment Company. Chesney came out of the audition with a songwriter’s contract. An appearance at a songwriter’s showcase the following year led to a contract with Capricorn Records, which had recently started a country division. I have released his debut album, In My Wildest Dreams, in April 1994. When Capricorn closed its country music division in Nashville and moved to Atlanta, Georgia, Chesney signed with BNA Records.
Career and awards
Chesney’s first album, In My Wildest Dreams, was released on the independent Capricorn Records label in 1994. The album’s lead-off single, “The Tin Man” and “Whatever It Takes”, both reached the lower regions of the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts. The album sold approximately 10,000 copies before Capricorn Records closed its country music division later that year.[ 7 ]
All I Need to Know (1995)
After Capricorn’s closure, Chesney signed with BNA Records, which released his album All I Need to Know in 1995. The album produced three hit singles. “Fall in Love” and “All I Need to Know” both reached the Top Ten, while “Grandpa Told Me So” peaked at # 23. “The Tin Man” was also included on this album, although it was not released as a single at the time.
Me and You (1996-1997)
Released in 1996, Chesney’s second major-label album was Me and You. Although its lead-off single peaked just outside the Top 40 on the country charts, the album’s title track (which was reprised from All I Need to Know) and the single “When I Close My Eyes” (which was previously recorded by Larry Stewart on his 1993 debut album Down the Road) both peaked at # 2 on the Billboard country charts. Me and You was also Chesney’s first gold-certified album. To cover of Mac McAnally’s 1990 single “Back Where I Come From” was also included on this album. Although Chesney’s version was never released as a single, it has become a regular song played during his concerts. In recognition of his successful year, Chesney was honored with the 1997 Academy of country music’s New Male Vocalist of the Year award.
I Will Stand (1997-1998)
I Will Stand, Chesney’s third album for NTBs, was released in 1997. “She’s Got It All” was the album’s lead-off single, becoming Chesney’s first # 1 single, spending three weeks at the top of the Billboard country charts. The album’s second single, “A Chance”, peaked just shy of the Top Ten. In 1998, “That’s Why I’m Here” went to # 2 on Billboard and reached the top of the charts on Radio & Records, Chesney giving his third # 1 single overall.
Everywhere We Go (1999)
Everywhere We Go, released in 1999, was Chesney’s fourth album for NTBs. The album produced two consecutive # 1 singles in “How Forever Feels” and “Had You Me Hello from” (the latter inspired by a line in the movie Jerry Maguire). The album also produced two more hits, including “She Thinks My tractor’s sexy” and “What I Need to do”, which peaked at # 11 and # 8 on the country charts, respectively. Everywhere We Go was Chesney’s first platinum-selling album.
Greatest Hits (2000)
By 2000, Chesney released his Greatest Hits compilation album. It included four new tracks, as well as updated versions of “Fall in Love”, “The Tin Man”, and “Back Where I Come From”. The new version of “The Tin Man” was one of the disc’s three singles, along with two of the new tracks, “I Lost It” and “Don’t Happen Twice”.
No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems (2002–2003)
The album No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems was released in 2002. The lead-off single, “Young”, peaked at # 2, while the follow-up “The Good Stuff” spent seven weeks at # 1, becoming Billboard’s # 1 country song of the year for 2002. The video for “Young” was honored by CMT with the video of the Year and Male Video of the Year awards for 2002. In 2003, ACM honored as Top Male Vocalist of the Year, while “The Good Stuff” Chesney received the award for Single Record of the Year. The following year, CMT recognized the video produced for “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems” as the Hottest Video of the Year.
All I Want for Christmas Is a Real Good Tan (2003)
In 2003, Chesney recorded All I Want for Christmas Is a Real Good Tan. The album’s title track peaked at # 30 on the country from holiday airplay charts.
When the Sun Goes Down (2004–2005)
2004 saw the release of Chesney’s album When the Sun Goes Down. Its lead-off single, “There Goes My Life”, spent seven weeks at the top of the Billboard country charts. On April 21, 2004, the accompanying video was honored by CMT with the Male Video of the Year award. The album’s title track, “When the Sun Goes Down”, in duet with Uncle Kracker, was also # 1 single. The video from the third single from the album, “I Go Back”, was honored on April 11, 2005, with the Male Video of the Year by Country Music Television.
When the Sun Goes Down was honored with the 2004 CMA award for Album of the Year, while Chesney was honored as the Entertainer of the Year. I was also presented with the American Music Award’s 2004 Artist of the Year award.
Kenny Chesney performing in the East Room of the White House on May 16, 2006, at the official dinner for Australian Prime Minister John Howard and Mrs. Janette Howard
Be as You Are and The Road and the radio (2005–2006)
In January 2005, Chesney released the album be as You Are (Songs from an Old Blue Chair), supporting the album with his Somewhere in the Sun Tour.
In the spring of 2005, Chesney was honored with the prestigious Triple Crown Award presented by the Academy of Country Music. This award was presented after Chesney’s 2004 Academy of country music’s Entertainer of the Year award was combined with 1997’s New Male Vocalist of the Year award and 2003’s Top Male Vocalist of the Year award. The following year, on May 23, 2006, Chesney was honored with his second Entertainer of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards.
Chesney released his second album of the year in November, The Road and the radio, producing three # 1 singles. “Living in Fast Forward”, “Summertime”, and “Beer in Mexico” hit # 1, all while “Who You’d Be Today” and “You Save Me” broke the Top Five.
Live: Live Those Songs Again is Chesney’s first live album. Released on September 19, 2006 on BNA Records, the album includes live renditions of 15 songs, including 11 singles. “Live Those Songs”, “Never Gonna Feel Like That Again”, “On the Coast of Somewhere Beautiful”, and “Back Where I Come From” were never released by Chesney as singles, while “Back Where I Come From” had been released as a single from Mac McAnally’s 1990 album Simple Life.
Chesney, along with Tim McGraw, contributed to version of Tracy Lawrence’ single s “Find Out Who Your Friends Are”, which can be found on Lawrence’s album For the Love. The official single version, featuring only Lawrence’s vocals, was released in August 2006, but did not reach the Top 40 on the country charts until January 2007, when For the Love was released. After the album’s release, the version with McGraw and Chesney began receiving significant airplay, helping to boost the single to # 1 on the country charts. The song became Lawrence’s first # 1 single in 11 years, as well as the second-slowest climbing # 1 single in the history of the Billboard music charts.
Chesney also co-wrote Rascal Flatts’ 2007 single along with Neil Thrasher and Wendell Mobley “Take Me There”, which served as the lead-off single Still Feels Good to their album.
Super Hits (2007)
On November 7, 2007 Chesney was named the CMA Entertainer of the Year for the third time in four years. The following week, on November 15, 2007, the Super Hits compilation album was released as part of Sony BMG’s Super Hits series.
Kenny Chesney in concert at the Madison Square Garden, New York City on August 30, 2007
Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates (2007–2008)
On September 11, 2007, Chesney released the album Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates. The represented to move to album to more gulf and western sound with a number of “breezy, steel drum island songs.”Kanye West’s album Graduation, as well as 50 cent’s album Curtis, were released on the same day. Kanye West and 50 Cent were in the midst of to competitive sales war, with 50 Cent claiming he would only his rap career if West end sold more albums than I did (remarks I later retracted as terms of contract with the promise conflicted with). Kenny Chesney, however, decided he would give country music to place in the competition, claiming country artists were just as popular as rap artists. Chesney came in third place in the number of record sales between the three musical artists.
I love You, “Never Wanted Nothing More”, became Chesney’s 12th song to hit the top of the Billboard country charts. On the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart dated for the week ending September 15, 2007, Chesney’s single “Don’t Blink” debuted at # 16, setting a new record for the highest debut on that chart since the inception of SoundScan electronic tabulation in 1990. This record was broken one week later by Garth Brooks’ song “More Than a Memory”, which debuted at # 1 on the same chart, making it the first song ever to do so. The third single off of Just Who I Am album, “Shiftwork”, duet with George Strait peaked at # 2 on the Billboard country music chart. During the week of June 28, 2008, the fourth single, “Better as a Memory”, became Chesney’s 14th single to hit the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
Kenny Chesney’s Poets and Pirates tour bus in 2008
Chesney started his Poets and Pirates Tour on April 26, 2008 at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina. During the introduction of his set, his boot was caught between hydraulic lift and the lip of the stage surface, crushing his foot and causing severe bruising from the ankle down, with most of the damage centering in his toes. It took approximately 30 seconds to pry his foot loose as I squatted down on the stage while the band continued to play an extended introduction of the song. When Chesney finally freed himself, I stood up and kept holding his hand on his knee as I began to sing.
Chesney did not acknowledge the injury during the early part of his performance. However, he was visibly limping and seemed to rest near to drum riser while leaning over and holding his knee during the instrumental breaks of his hit songs. As I came offstage, doctor from the University of South Carolina cut off Chesney’s cowboy boot and immediately began treating the foot injury. X-rays taken later revealed several crushed bones in his right foot.
The injury did not cause him to postponed any shows, saying “he (the doctor) told me it’s going to hurt – though nothing could hurt worse than Saturday, I don’t think – and they can give me something to deaden the pain when I get out there.” “I also have to have doctor standing by should something give, but I’m going to cover it up, and I’m going to get out there.”
On May 19, 2008, just a day after being honored as the ACM Entertainer of the Year at the 43rd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, Chesney was the lack of choice in the producers’ awarding the honor based on fan votes. “The entertainer of the year trophy is supposed to represent heart and passion and an amazing amount of sacrifice, commitment and focus,” I said. “That’s the way Garth won it four times, that’s the way I won it, that’s the way Strait won it, Reba, Alabama all those years.” “That’s what it’s supposed to represent.”
Lucky Old Sun (2008-2009)
Kenny Chesney during a performance in Jacksonville, Florida on August 30, 2008
On July 24, 2008, Chesney announced that I would be releasing a new single off an upcoming album entitled Lucky Old Sun. The song was titled “Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven”, and for the chart week of August 16, 2008, it debuted at # 22 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. The album was released on October 14, 2008.[ 15 ] “Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven” became # 1 hit. It was followed by a cover of Mac McAnally’s 1990 single “Down the Road”.
Chesney’s 2009 tour was titled the Sun City Carnival Tour and featured both small and large venues in order to keep his ticket prices down. The tour included performance at Gillette Stadium again, marking the fifth year in a row that I have played at Foxboro, Massachusetts the football field.
Greatest Hits II (2010)
On May 19, 2010, Greatest Hits II was released with two new tracks. In February, “ain’t Back Yet” was sent to country music radio stations. The # 1 hit “Out Last Night” was the lead single.
Hemingway’s whiskey (2010-present)
In July 2010, Chesney released “The Boys of Fall” as the lead-off single from his album Hemingway’s whiskey, which was released in September 2010.
Kenny Chesney is scheduled to appear at the 44th Annual Country Music Awards on November 10, 2010.
Chesney owns 56 ‘ Sea Ray yacht and also has a home in the U.S. Virgin Islands. I spends time down in the Caribbean and includes island-themed songs in some of his work, such as those on his 2005 album Be As You Are.
On May 9, 2005, Kenny Chesney married actress Renee Zellweger in a ceremony on the island of St. John. They had met in January at a tsunami relief benefit concert. On September 15 of that same year, after only four months of marriage, they announced their plans for an annulment. Zellweger cited fraud as the reason in the related papers, but after media scrutiny of her use of the word “fraud”, she qualified the use of the term, stating it was “simply legal language and not a reflection of Kenny’s character”. Chesney later suggested the failure of his marriage was due to “panic” from the intense media scrutiny surrounding it. In an interview by 60 minutes with Anderson Cooper, Chesney commented on the failed marriage. “The only fraud that was committed was me thinking that I knew what it was I really understood what it was like to be married, and I really didn’t like…that.”The annulment was finalized in late December 2005. Kenny Chesney’s family still reside in east Tennessee.
Chesney’s most recent work includes working with the V Foundation charity. Founded by the late Jim Valvano, the V Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to saving lives by helping to find to cure for cancer. Valvano, former coach of the North Carolina State Wolfpack Basketball team, died on April 28, 1993 following a year-long battle with cancer.
In 1998, Chesney recorded to limited-edition single titled “Touchdown Tennessee”. The single was in tribute to John Ward, a former broadcaster for the University of Tennessee Volunteers’ football team; St. Jude children’s Research Hospital and the John Ward Scholarship Fund received to portion of the single’s sales.