Kenny Chesney played to a sold-out crowd at Miller Park in Milwaukee on Saturday night. After performing the song “When I See This Bar” with Eric Church, Kenny led the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday” to George Strait who turned 60.
“’When I See This Bar’ is the kind of song you have to have lived,” Kenny said. “Most people do, they just never step back and realize what all those lost nights, afternoon beers and friendships really mean. They make you who are, get you through tough things and get you laughing… Obviously, “When I See This Bar” is important to me; I know Eric’s been there, too, and knows that power of place, so it was great to get him up there.”
Following “When I See This Bar,” Kenny made a spur of the moment decision to have the capacity crowd sing “Happy Birthday” to George Strait, who was turning 60. He promised the enthusiastic crowd he would email the performance to George.
“That’s one of the things about this life – and the people of the No Shoes Nation,” he said. “There are so many crazy, nonlinear things you can do if you can dream them. The fans feed me to dream outside the lines – like singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to George – and that’s one of the best parts of making a life making music.”
In an interview with Country Countdown USA’s Lon Helton, George Strait hinted that Kenny Chesney may be included in his 2014 farewell tour plans:
“We’ve got some surprises up our sleeve, so next year’s gonna be fun,” Strait tells Country Countdown USA‘s Lon Helton.
Though he doesn’t say exactly where or when Chesney might figure into those plans, Strait adds, “Kenny and I have been friends for a long time; we worked together in the stadium days, and other times, too. Don’t be surprised if you see him out next year with us somewhere. We’ve got some big plans.”
The pair recorded together on ‘Shiftwork,’ a No. 1 duet from 2007. Prior to that, Strait recalls that Chesney and Tim McGraw were touring with his George Strait Country Music Festival in 2000 when they pulled an infamous stunt that got them arrested. Chesney was reportedly riding a police officer’s horse backstage without permission, and when two officers tried to stop him, McGraw and his manager stepped in. A small scuffle ensued, and both stars were jailed. They were later cleared of all charges.
“I was there fixin’ to go onstage in Buffalo when he and Kenny got thrown in the pokey,” Strait recalls. “It was so funny because I got the word the police had them right as I was walking on stage. It was a heck of a night waitin’ up for those guys to get back in.”
Be sure to catch Kenny Chesney on Katie Couric’s show today (check your local listings).
“Katie is so smart, and so good,” Kenny said. “When you talk to her, you can tell she doesn’t just understand, she gets it… and that makes you want to really talk to her. That kind of interviewing is rare, and I’m so glad we were able to make it happen.”
The show, which also features two segments on the first responders to the Boston Marathon and a mother/daughter who were both injured, focuses on Kenny’s Spread The Love Fund which will go to help those injured get prosthetics and related care, the inspiration behind Life On A Rock, taste-testing his Blue Chair Bay Rum and discussing work ethic, achievement and what really matters in life.
“Meeting the firemen and policemen, EMTs and the doctor who was running the Marathon and broke through the police barricade to treat the injured was really a profound perspective giver,” Kenny said. “You look at those people, who didn’t think about their own safety, but helping others – and you realize what a hero really is!”
Kenny also performed a stripped down version of “Spread The Love,” the song the Wailers recorded in Jamaica and asked Kenny to write the lyrics for. Kenny’s portion of the money from all downloads of “Spread The Love” will go to the Spread The Love Fund.
“Katie is so generous to let us come on her show,” Kenny said. “Not just to talk about life and music, but to talk about the Spread the Love Fund. She knows she can make a difference, and that’s just the kind of person she is.”
Kenny Chesney revealed this week that Blue Chair Bay Rum, his recently announced line of premium, born-on-the-beach spirits, will throw launch parties in 18 key cities during his No Shoes Nation tour this spring and summer. These parties, which range from parking lot tailgates to on-premise celebrations, promise to deliver the island-lover’s signature “nowhere to go, nowhere to be” state of mind to rum enthusiasts and music fans across the country.
“So much of the inspiration for my music comes from the places I’ve been, and people I’ve met in the Caribbean,” says Chesney. “I started thinking, ‘What if I could share that sense of escape, and freedom… and fun with friends with everyone! That’s the reason for creating Blue Chair Bay Rum, so I wanted a way to share it beyond the shelf. That’s what we’re — hopefully — bringing people with this rum and these parties.”
The laid-back parties invite like-minded imbibers across the nation to raise a glass of Blue Chair Bay Rum’s White, Coconut and Coconut Spiced flavors in celebration of the anytime, anywhere spirit that defines island life. Locals are invited to sip on signature Blue Chair Bay Rum cocktails, take part in island-themed giveaways and indulge in the singer/songwriter’s “check your troubles at the shore” way of life. All will be open to No Shoes Nation tour ticketholders 21 years of age and older. Markets include Dallas (5/11); Milwaukee (5/18); Landover, MD. (5/24); Seattle (6/1); Virginia Beach, VA. (6/6); Philadelphia (6/8); Indianapolis (6/13); Kansas City, MO (6/15); Pittsburgh (6/22); Columbus (6/29); Minneapolis (7/12); Denver (7/20); Mountain View, CA. (7/25); Anaheim, CA. (7/27); Charlotte, N.C. (8/1); Atlanta (8/3); East Rutherford, N.J. (8/10); Detroit (8/17) and Foxboro, MA (8/23).
Blue Chair Bay Rum will also co-host a series of No Shoes Nation Happy Hours that are free and open to the 21+ public. Events will be held in partnership with No Shoes Radio, Chesney’s eclectic online radio station, the night before parties in Dallas, Milwaukee, Landover, Seattle, Philadelphia, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Denver, Anaheim, Atlanta, E. Rutherford, Detroit and Boston.
Those who won’t be in one of the 18 cities can still get in on the action by downloading the special Join The Nation app. With it, they can take the ultimate pirate quest: transforming a picture of their face into the skeleton that flies on the No Shoes Nation flag.
“Kenny’s music compels people to live more carefree lives, no matter how far from the beach they may be,” says Jon Anthony, Managing Partner of No Shoes Radio. “Turning his love of island life into something people can sip on takes his music and lifestyle to a whole new level. Kenny’s always seeking new things and taking the time to enjoy them, which is what No Shoes Radio’s built on. People are going to experience that — music, friends, really good spirits and a shared experience — at Blue Chair Bay Rum’s parties and No Shoes Radio Happy Hours.”
Blue Chair Bay Rum is not an endorsement. Chesney wanted to make a rum based on authenticity and flavor. He was deeply involved in every step of the development process, including working closely with legendary blender Mike Booth and famed master mixologist Jonathan Pogash. The three premium blends of rum, all mellowed in casks on the shores of Barbados, will be available in 750ml and 1.75L bottles across 32 markets in May of 2013.
Chesney’s 42-city No Shoes Nation Tour, including 19 NFL Stadiums, will run through August 23-24 with a two-night stand at Foxboro’s Gillette Stadium. With his reflective Life On A Rock, a more acoustic and searching album with guest appearances by Willie Nelson and the Wailers, having arrived on April 30, the 8-time Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year will be making plenty of music this summer.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re on a beach in the Caribbean, or landlocked in the middle of the country,” says Chesney. “If you’ve got friends, laughter and a bottle of Blue Chair Bay Rum, you can check your troubles at the shore.”
Kenny Chesney has landed his seventh number one album on the Billboard 200 with the release of Life On A Rock. The album sold 153,000 copies.
Among country acts with the most No. 1s on the Billboard 200, Chesney is second to only Garth Brooks. The latter notched eight leaders between 1991 and 2001.
Since 2004, all 10 of Chesney’s regular full-length albums have debuted in the top four on the Billboard 200. His latest follows 2012′s “Welcome to the Fishbowl,” which debuted and peaked at No. 2 off a 193,000 start. The new album’s debut week is his smallest sales bow for a studio set since 1999′s “Everywhere We Go” began with 30,000.
Chesney’s new album is one of only two debuts in the top 10 this week, as fellow country act Randy Rogers Band’s “Trouble” also enters at No. 9, with 26,000. It follows the group’s last album, 2010′s “Burning the Day,” which debuted and peaked at No. 8 with 29,000 in its first week.
Over on the Country Albums chart, Chesney and Rogers Band arrive at Nos. 1 and 3, respectively. It’s Chesney’s 12th No. 1 set on that tally.
Billboard reports that Kenny Chesney’s new album Life on a Rock is expected to debut at number one on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart:
On next week’s Billboard 200 chart, watch for country superstar Kenny Chesney to claim his seventh No. 1 as his new Life On a Rock should debut atop the list. Industry sources suggest the set could move around 140,000 or so by the end of the tracking week on Sunday, May 5.
It follows Welcome to the Fishbowl, released in June 2012, which debuted and peaked at No. 2 with 193,000 according to Nielsen SoundScan. Chesney has been on an incredible chart roll for nearly 10 years. Since 2004, all nine of his regular full-length albums have debuted in the top four on the Billboard 200.
The new Billboard 200 chart’s top 10 will be revealed on the morning of Wednesday, May 8.
Kenny Chesney will be one of many luminaries at the public funeral for George Jones on Thursday in Nashville.
The Thursday funeral service for George Jones will bring a morning full of music from his fellow country stars and will also feature appearances by former first lady Laura Bush, Governor Bill Haslam and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Others announced to take the Grand Ole Opry House stage for the public funeral, whether performing or speaking, are Kenny Chesney, Charlie Daniels, Grand Ole Opry vice president and general manager Pete Fisher, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Wynonna Judd, Kid Rock, Patty Loveless, Barbara Mandrell, Ronnie Milsap, the Oak Ridge Boys, Brad Paisley, CBS News’ Bob Schieffer, Randy Travis, Travis Tritt, and Tanya Tucker with The Imperials.
Many other fellow artists are expected to attend the Thursday service, which comes the day after family, friends and fellow performers are expected for a private Wednesday-evening visitation.
Thursday’s public funeral at the Grand Ole Opry House is certain to be a major draw for fans near and far. The Opry House, which seats 4,400, is at 2804 Opryland Drive, Nashville. The service begins at 10 a.m.
Tim Hensley, a multi-instrumentalist and recording artist who spent 11 years as a key member of country superstar Kenny Chesney’s touring band and in-studio team, died today. He was 50 years old and suffered from liver failure.
Mr. Hensley also spent 10 years in Patty Loveless’ band, and a year with Ricky Skaggs. A superb harmony vocalist, he sang on major albums including Chesney’s “When The Sun Goes Down” and “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems,” Skaggs’ “Comin’ Home To Stay” and Loveless’ “When Fallen Angels Fly” and “Trouble With The Truth.” His vocals onstage and in the studio were a hallmark of Loveless’ live shows and records in the 1990s.
Mr. Hensley’s one solo album, 2008’s “Long Monday,” came about after years of singing and playing bluegrass songs with Chesney and other band members. When Chesney’s concerts were over and before the show moved on to the next city on the tour, Mr. Hensley would often lead informal sessions on a tour bus. The music always tended toward bluegrass, with plenty of nights featuring re-workings of standard “Workin’ On A Building” or of the Herb Pedersen-penned “Wait A Minute.”
“We sat so many nights backstage, or in a dressing room or on a bus, and started up a bluegrass jam session with Tim Hensley as the ringleader,” Chesney told The Tennessean in 2008. “I told him one day, ‘I don’t know how or when, but I’m going to capture you doing this.’”
Chesney and Buddy Cannon produced “Long Monday,” an album that found Hensley singing a mixture of bluegrass and Americana songs – some from his own pen, some from writers such as John Prine, Keith Sykes, John Scott Sherrill, Carl Jackson and Rodney Crowell – with guests including Loveless, Vince Gill and Sonya Isaacs. “Long Monday” became a Top 10 album on bluegrass charts, and Mr. Hensley realized a childhood dream when he played the Grand Ole Opry on April 4, 2008