Kenny Chesney is in California this weekend as part of the Goin’ Coastal Tour and on Thursday night he sat down for a back-and-forth at the Grammy Museum as part of their ongoing program with musicians.
The exclusive event was held in the intimate Clive Davis Theater and included a discussion of Chesney’s road to success, how his creative process works, and the details of his recent year off from touring.
Chesney began by speaking of his first musical memories, which were centered around family and church. He mentioned, however, that while music was always a part of his life, it was never in the forefront.
Rather, he was focused on athletics and dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player – as made evident by his constant use of sports analogies throughout the conversation.
Chesney mentioned that he was actually playing a game of pick-up-basketball when he heard “Take It to the Limit” by The Eagles for the first time, citing the song as his first introduction to harmonies and great music in general. That experience inspired him to pursue music further, and he learned to play guitar his junior year of college.
Today, all of Chesney’s college roommates are on the road with him for his “Goin’ Coastal” tour, just as they have been for the past eighteen years of touring. He spoke of the long way that his self-titled “road family” has come since the first year on tour, during which fourteen band members – including Chesney himself – had to take turns sleeping in the twelve beds on their bus.
That memory prompted him to speak of the way in which artists gain success so quickly today, pointing out that young singers now get a new tour bus for every song they release. “It concerns me a little bit today,” said Chesney, “that the idea of the singer-songwriter isn’t that important. I always loved the people who wrote their own music and went out there and performed.”
Among the artists who he admires, Chesney mentioned Willie Nelson, Roger Miller, Jimmy Buffett, Tom Petty, John Cougar Mellencamp and, most importantly, Bruce Springstein.
Robert Santelli pointed out that during Springstien’s visit to the GRAMMY Museum, the celebrated musician explained the three things necessary for an artist to be successful: the ability to be a great listener, a keen attention to detail, and a commitment to honesty.
Chesney agreed, and went on to explain the most important advice his idol ever gave to him. “Bruce told me that you can write half a song and put it in a drawer. In five years you can pull it out and it will still be there. Life’s not like that – you have to live life. You can’t put it in a drawer.”
Be sure to read the full writeup here.
According to Billboard, Kenny Chesney bested one of the top touring acts in the world last week:
The country superstar scored the highest-grossing tour last week, according to Billboard, bringing in more than $6.5 million in revenue. His impressive earnings top No. 2 ranked Lady Gaga by almost $1 million. The Allman Brothers Band came in third, with more than $3.5 million. Neil Young places a distant fourth, with just over $680,000, and Widespread Panic came in fifth, earning just slightly less than Neil.
Kenny’s soaring income for last week is due in part to performing the second of his nine stadium shows schedule. ‘The Boys of Fall’ singer performed at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on April 16, raking in more than $4 million for the show. The Zac Brown Band, Billy Currington and Uncle Kracker all joined him for the night, entertaining the crowd of 46,551 fans.
CMT announced its nominations for their 2011 CMT Music Awards on Wednesday and Kenny Chesney is up for two awards, including the most coveted award: Video of the Year.
Here’s a look at the categories that Kenny is nominated in:
Video of the Year
- Jason Aldean – “My Kinda Party”
- Kenny Chesney – “The Boys of Fall”
- Lady Antebellum – “Hello World”
- Miranda Lambert – “The House That Built Me”
- Rascal Flatts – “Why Wait”
- Sugarland – “Stuck Like Glue”
- Taylor Swift – “Mine”
- The Band Perry – “If I Die Young”
- Carrie Underwood – “Undo It”
- Zac Brown Band – “Colder Weather”
Male Video of the Year
- Jason Aldean – “My Kinda Party”
- Kenny Chesney – “The Boys of Fall”
- Toby Keith – “Bullets in the Gun”
- Blake Shelton – “Who Are You When I’m Not Looking”
- Keith Urban – “Without You”
The awards are entirely fan-voted, and voting is now open at CMT.com through June 7.
See the full list of nominees here.
The show will take place in Nashville on June 8.
In a press release today, Kenny Chesney confirmed that his next single will be “You and Tequila,” and he and Grace Potter have been shooting scenes for the music video:
With three diverse # 1 singles from his critically acclaimed Hemingway’s Whiskey, Kenny Chesney continues to showcase the album’s depth with the release of “You And Tequila,” which will ship to radio later this month. Written by Matraca Berg and Deana Carter, Chesney features singer-songwriter Grace Potter on the recording which the New York Times declares, “it’s one of the finest songs of Mr. Chesney’s career, a sudden bolt of darkness disrupting a blissful summer sky.”
Of the tune Chesney says, “I’ve always loved the song “You and Tequila.” I’ve had that song for years and lived with Matraca’s demo for a long time. After the tour in 2007, I rented a house in Malibu, California right on the cliff of the ocean and I would drive up the Pacific Coast Highway right at sunset. I remember I’d roll down the windows and I would just listen to music. I would listen to Tom Petty, The Eagles, I would listen to so many songs that would kind of fit that moment. It was therapeutic.”
“When we were putting together Hemingway’s Whiskey,” Chesney recalls, “somebody brought up ‘You And Tequila’ and when I listened to the demo again, it was just like I was driving up the Pacific Coast Highway at sunset with the window down and that’s why I recorded the song.”
“I was looking for somebody to record it with me and I thought of Grace Potter because I love her singing and love her records,” Chesney continues. “I didn’t know her, but I got in touch with her, played her the song and literally three days later she was in Nashville, and we cut it. Still, every time I hear the song, I go straight to driving up the PCH at sunset- got the windows down. I love that feeling.”
Chesney returned to Malibu last week to shoot the music video with Grace Potter. Shot in multiple locations, the video will be released next month. Chesney currently resides at #1 on the singles chart with his 22nd chart topping song, “Live A Little.”
In a press release celebrating his latest number one hit, Kenny Chesney announced that Grace Potter will join him at the third Red Rocks show:
The Red Rocks shows mark the first time Kenny’s played the famed Colorado venue, and the first time in five years he’s performed at any venue more than twice on a tour.
For the recently-added show on July 8th, Kenny has invited Grace Potter to join the bill, a new friend who duets with him on “You and Tequila” from ‘Hemingway’s Whiskey.’
Get tickets to this show and others here.
It’s another number one hit for Kenny Chesney! His latest single “Live a Little” climbed to the top of the Billboard Top Country Songs chart this week, giving him a total of 22 number ones.
“Live a Little” is the third single released from Kenny’s latest album Hemingway’s Whiskey. The other two singles, “The Boys of Fall” and “Somewhere With You” also hit number one.
After writing ‘Live a Little,’ which takes the listener back to carefree summers and yearning for them again, the performer knew there was a perfect place for it in his live show. “When we were done with this song, I knew where it was gonna fit in my show,” says Kenny. “I knew that … this defines our show. This is classic, the two hours, summertime, time of the year when we strap on our guitars and go out there and let them have it. This song is going to fit very well.”
Kenny Chesney will sit down for a candid question and answer session with Billboard in June:
Country superstar Kenny Chesney will sit down for a candid Superstar Q&A at the second annual Billboard Country Music Summit in association with the Country Music Association (CMA).
The event, set to take place in Nashville on June 6-7 at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel, will gather today’s top country music executives and other artists to network and discuss all aspects of the Country Music business. Chesney will be joining another one of the most successful entertainers in country music today, Carrie Underwood, who will also participate in a Q&A.
Billboard’s Ray Waddell will conduct the rare public interview with Chesney, who is among the elite artists in country music history, by any measure. His tours have raised the standard for country music in terms of production and ticket selling, moving more than a million tickets every time he embarks on a tour.
“As someone who has followed Kenny Chesney’s career since he was playing in clubs, I have a huge appreciation for all he has accomplished in country music,” says Waddell, executive director of content and programming for touring and live entertainment. “His insight into how his career has developed, his musical vision, and his successful outside projects will make for an informative and entertaining session for Summit attendees.”