Kenny Chesney turned 44 on Monday, but didn’t do much celebrating:
“I’m in such training right now and I’m so anal about it to get ready for the tour that I’m not drinking any alcohol and I’m really watching what I eat,” Chesney tells One Country. In June, he kicks off his joint tour with Tim McGraw. “At some point, I’m going to have birthday cake and alcohol to celebrate my birthday, but I didn’t do it yesterday (March 26).”
In addition to the tour, Chesney will be releasing a new album on June 19 and filming a new music video in mid-April. He’s also reported to be debuting his new single at the 2012 ACM Awards on Sunday night (April 1).
“Once I get some of that stuff done, towards mid-April, I wanna have a big piece of birthday cake and a couple of drinks to celebrate my birthday,” he insists.
There was speculation earlier this year that a duet was in the works:
It’s possible but not set in stone, Kenny told reporters Jan. 17 at the Grammy nominees party in Nashville. Kenny noted that he and Tim would like to cut a tune together, but added, “We haven’t found the song yet.”
With a joking smile, Kenny said, “We might do a bluegrass thing. We may do some version of [Kenny’s recent hit] ‘You and Tequila.’ No, really, I just don’t know yet.”
The 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards air live on CBS on Sunday, April 1, at 8 p.m. ET.
Chesney says the title of the album came from a conversation he had with some of his football-playing friends at a beach bar called The Red Bar in Grayton Beach, Fla.
“We walked in, and it was packed,” Chesney recalls. “There was about 20 minutes of people coming up, saying hello, wanting to get something signed.
“After that died down, one of those guys said, ‘I didn’t realize your life was like this.’ I said, ‘Hey, man, welcome to the fishbowl.’ As soon as I said it, I realized that I was going to write a song about how our world and our culture is shrinking.”
Chesney insists that the song isn’t necessarily about celebrity. “In fact, at the end of the song I speak to celebrities and say, ‘You asked for this,’ ” he says. “But you don’t have to be in the public eye for your business to be everybody’s business. And that’s just the way it is.”
When it comes to the songs on Fishbowl, Chesney recalls a different conversation, one he had with Matraca Berg, the co-writer of his 2010 hit You and Tequila. Berg told Chesney that he was at a point in his career where he could cut both great songs and songs that would fill football stadiums.
“I think that’s what I’m enjoying about this part in my career,” he says, “and the new album’s going to show that even more. Not a lot of artists, especially if they’re as mainstream as me, have that freedom.”
‘Welcome to the Fishbowl’ will hit stores on June 19th
“We start rehearsing (for the tour) after the ACMs, and we start piecing it all together,” says Chesney, who expects to include at least three songs from Fishbowl in his set. “I try to fill my sets full of songs that everybody lives with every day. To play a new song in a stadium, you might lose people. They might tune out for three minutes. But I’m at a point in my life where I want to play them new music. I want them to know we might do Fishbowl and a couple more.
“I’m looking forward to playing new music for everybody. It’s going to be an incredibly fun and passionate summer.”
Kenny Chesney was in Nashville Monday evening for the T.J. Martell Foundation Honors Gala, held at the Hutton Hotel. Chesney’s appearance, along with Dolly Parton, was actually a surprise:
Martina McBride performed her hit “Independence Day,” while Ronnie Dunn sang the Brooks & Dunn hit “Believe,” both in honor of music industry veteran Joe Galante, who helped launch the careers of numerous artists, including Alabama, Clint Black, Kenny Chesney, Martina, Carrie Underwood and The Judds, while Kenny and Dolly Parton made surprise appearances to present him with the Tony Martell Lifetime Entertainment Achievement Award. K.T. Oslin was also on hand to show her support, and opened the evening with a rendition of her signature hit, “80’s Ladies.” “Anytime it has anything to do with [Joe], I say yes,” K.T. said. “Joe first of all got me when nobody else did. He was my kickstart, and he’s ended up being a dear friend.”
The event also featured live and silent auctions. A sold-out event boasting over 400 attendees, the gala raised $400,000 for the T.J. Martell foundation’s fight against cancer, leukemia and AIDS.
Tuskegee, the new album from Lionel Richie, is out today! It’s a duets album, featuring some of the biggest artists in country music singing Richie’s hits.
Kenny Chesney teams up with Richie on the song “My Love.”
Richie fully expected Kenny Chesney to pick the good-timing ‘All Night Long’ to cover, so he was stunned when Kenny expressed his admiration for the ballad ‘My Love.’ Chesney’s adoration was so ardent, “he drunk dialed me at 2:00 AM and said he was going to sing the song to me,” Lionel recalls. He added that Kenny’s mom, who Kenny claimed had never attended one of his recording sessions before, dropped by to hear her baby sing with Lionel.
Other artists on the album include Jimmy Buffett, Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Willie Nelson, Shania Twain, and many more.
This morning the Academy of Country Music announced the winners of awards that won’t be included in the live broadcast on April 1st, and Kenny Chesney is one of the early winners:
Crystal Milestone Award
Kenny Chesney, four-time ACM Entertainer of the Year, has sold more than 10,500,000 tickets on his 11 national tours, selling out stadiums across the country. His successful shows have promoted the entire genre to delighted fans while helping other country acts and cross-over artists gain exposure nationwide. The Academy is honoring Kenny for this remarkable achievement.
Past recipients of the Crystal Milestone Award include Garth Brooks and Jennifer Nettles.
Be sure to watch the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards when it airs live on CBS on Sunday, April 1, at 8 p.m. ET.