Kenny Chesney (1968 -)

Updated: February 24, 2011

Country singer and songwriter.

Born March 26, 1968, Kenny Chesney grew up in Luttrell, Tennessee, and his songs about family, friends, and school reflect his small-town upbringing. Chesney’s reflective, relatable themes and laid-back style combined with his charismatic stage presence have catapulted him to superstar status.

Upon graduation from East Tennessee State University in 1991, Chesney moved to Nashville and soon was recording for Capricorn and later for BNA Records. His first four albums, bearing a traditional if indistinctive country sound. produced one number one hit and five top ten singles. Chesney achieved a major breakthrough with his fifth album, Everywhere We Go (1999), which went double platinum. This album received more notice because it included a variety of song styles, interspersing catchy, upbeat tracks like “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy” and “How Forever Feels” with more traditional country material. Chesney built on this success with the 2002 album No Shoes, No Shirts, No Problems, accentuating songs with a Caribbean influence. The album’s title track was a number-two country hit, and Chesney continued to intersperse the island sound in subsequent albums, including collaborations with the Wailers, a Jamaican reggae band, and cross-genre artist Jimmy Buffett.

Chesney has received several major industry awards, including Top Male Vocalist and Single of the Year in 2003 from the Academy of Country Music (ACM) and Album of the Year in 2004 from the Country Music Association (CMA). However, Chesney’s talent as an entertainer has received the most attention. The CMA named him Entertainer of the Year in 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008, and he earned the same award from the ACM in 2005, 2006, and 2008. His abilities as an entertainer are also reflected in ticket sales. In 2008 and 2009 Chesney’s tour was recognized as the highest-grossing country-music act. Rolling Stone magazine ranked Chesney as the third-biggest touring act of the 2000s, showing that his success translates across the entire music industry. In a time when many Americans feel nostalgic for a simpler, more innocent era, Chesney’s music and talent as an entertainer provide an escape from the present, allowing audiences to reminisce about the past, to relax in a tropical paradise, and, above all else, to have fun.

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Kenny Chesney