No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems
"You don't have to be a musician living on the road to be living in fast forward. You can be an insurance salesman or a doctor or a lawyer or whatever. It's about being addicted to work and trying to keep up and that's the thing about what I do: it's an uncommon life in a lot of ways, but I've got more in common with the fans than people realize.” Kenny Chesney.
Contemporary country music star Kenny Chesney, the self-described "hillbilly rock star out of control," has spawned several country massive hits, including "She's Got It All" (1997), "How Forever Feels" (1999), "You Had Me From Hello" (1999), "Don't Happen Twice" (2001), "The Good Stuff" (2002), "There Goes My Life" (2003) "When the Sun Goes Down" (with Uncle Kracker; 2004), "Anything But Mine" (2005), "Living In Fast Forward" (2005) and "Summertime" (currently active on charts).
He also scored four No. 1 albums on Billboard's Top 200 chart, starting with 2002's quadruple platinum No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems, followed by the 2004’s quadruple platinum When the Sun Goes Down, the 2005's platinum Be As You Are (Songs From an Old Blue Chair) and the 2005's double platinum The Road and the Radio.
Chesney, the reigning Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year, was presented with a plaque commemorating his sales of 25 million albums in February 2006. On a more personal note, the 5' 7" tall, soft-spoken star was briefly married to Oscar-winning actress Renée Zellweger in 2005
Childhood and Family:
"It's amazing what you learn just through living. I moved away from that small town 'cause I hated it, 'cause I was after bigger dreams - and you don't realize who you really are or where you're from 'til you leave. Then the joke's on you 'cause that's where you end up in the end: the place you feel most normal - a small town. Seriously, my home in the islands is a smaller town even than where I grew up and I'm drawn to people who grew up the way I did. My fans are like me, too, like that and they're never gonna hear I've moved to New York City or Chicago because the more I see the world, the more I know who I am." Kenny Chesney.
Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, on March 26, 1968 Kenneth Arnold Chesney spent his formative years in nearby Luttrell, in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. He has a younger half-sister named Jennifer Chandler. The die hard fan of the Boston Red Sox and the Tennessee Titans attended Gibbs High School in Corryton (Knox County), Tennessee, and graduated with a marketing degree from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee, in 1990, where he joined the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity.
"I still have a lot of the same friends from high school, some out on the road with me. I still like and do simple things. I still feel all the same emotions. I mean, the emotions people go through in their lives, those soul searching aspects - everyone has them, we just don't talk about them. I promise. And that's what this record is about: showing people we do all go through it." Kenny Chesney.
In January 2005, Chesney met Academy Award-winning actress Renée Zellweger (born April 25, 1969) at a the "Concert of Hope" tsunami relief benefit. On May 9, 2005, they exchanged vows on the resort island St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, in a surprise wedding. After only four months of marriage, on September 15, 2005, the couple announced their plans for an annulment.
When the Sun Goes Down
"The more you live, the more you know and the more you experience, the more you reflect on everything around you. You become more aware, whether you want to or not. So, as an artist and a songwriter, you look for ways to see it and tell people about it, to see if they're going through the same things. The thing about Be As You Are is once you write an album about realizations, finding a new way to live, it changes how you do this." Kenny Chesney.
Growing up listening to both country and rock roll, Kenny Chesney began getting serious about music during his college years. Soon after receiving his first guitar as a Christmas present, he went to perform with the college bluegrass band. He also began writing songs and played for tips at local places like Chuckie's Trading Post and Quarterback's. Additionally, he managed to sell 1,000 copies of a self-released demo album.
Just a month after his graduation from college in 1991, the aspiring country singer moved to Nashville and became the resident performer at The Turf, a honky-tonk with a rough reputation on the city's Lower Broadway. The next year, after auditioning for the Opryland Music Group, Chesney secured a songwriting deal. And following his appearance at a songwriter's showcase in 1993, he landed a recording contract with Capricorn Records.
In January 1994, Chesney released his debut album, In My Wildest Dreams, which spawned the single "Whatever It Takes." Unfortunately for Chesney, shortly after the album’s release, Capricorn's country division was completely shut down, leaving Chesney without the backing of a label once again. But the album still managed to sell 100,000 copies and caught the eye of several big-time major labels. The struggling young artist later ended up signing with RCA Records’ subsidiary BNA Records.
June 1995 saw the release of Chesney’s album All I Need To Know, which produced two Top 10 hits on Billboard's Country charts, "Fall In Love" and "All I Need To Know." The album went on to sell over half a million units and was eventually certified Gold Record status.
Chesney followed it up with his next effort, Me and You. Released in June 1996, the album delivered two #2 hits, "When I Close My Eyes" and the title track. The album itself became another Gold seller. The next year in July, he issued I Will Stand, which spawned his first country chart topper, "She's Got It All," which was ranked the fourth biggest country song of the year, as well as the No. 2 smash, "That's Why I'm Here," which became Chesney’s first hit to cross over to pop charts (peaking at No. 79). The album also became Chesney's first million seller, receiving platinum certification before year's end. By this time, Chesney was nominated the CMA's Horizon Award and won the ACM's Top New Male Vocalist Award. He also received a lot of exposure through national TV appearances on shows like “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee” and “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.”
Everywhere We Go hit the music stores in 1999. The double-Platinum album produced the #1 hits "How Forever Feels" (nominated Song of the Year and Favorite Driving Song from the WB Radio Music Awards and CMA Video of the Year) and the slow ballad "You Had Me From Hello." It also spawned the all time favorite "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy" and the Top 10 single "What I Need To Do."
On September 26, 2000, Chesney's Greatest Hits was released. New songs became huge hits: "I Lost It" climbed at #3 and "Don't Happen Twice" became Chesney’s another chart-topping country single early in 2001. The album itself went on to sell over four million units and received 4 times Platinum.
Two years later, the new country music superstar became a crossover megastar with the album No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems. It delivered several country massive hits, including "Young," "The Good Stuff," "Big Star" and the title track. The album peaked Billboard's Country and Top 200 charts at No. 1 and went quadruple platinum.
In 2003, Chesney headlined the enormously successful Margaritas 'n' Senoritas Tour. He also released the holiday album All I Want For Christmas Is A Real Good Tan in October that year and it went Platinum. He topped the Billboard's Country Singles chart at #1 once again with "There Goes My Life" (2003), which was featured in his 2004 album When the Sun Goes Down. The album also delivered #2 hits "I Go Back" and "The Woman With You" as well as the No. 1 title track, a duet with Uncle Kracker. The album debuted on Billboard's Country and Top 200 charts at No. 1 and eventually received 4 times platinum. It also handed Chesney a CMA Award in November 2004, in addition to his CMA’s Entertainer of the Year. Chesney also beat out such top artists as Usher, OutKast and Norah Jones to win the American Music Awards’ Favorite Artist.
After performing at an All-Star concert in January 2005 which helped raise money for victims of the Asian tsunami disaster of December 2004, Chesney released Be As You Are: Songs From an Old Blue Chair, which again, entered the Billboard Top 200 and Country charts at No. 1 and went platinum. Most of the year, Chesney spent his time on the road headlining the Somewhere in the Sun Tour, with special guest Gretchen Wilson and Uncle Kracker. He also released his next album, The Road and the Radio, on November 8, 2005. The two-time platinum album spawned the #1 hit singles "Living In Fast Forward" and "Summertime" (currently active on charts) as well as the #2 "Who You'd Be Today" and the #3 "You Save Me" (currently active on charts).
In February 2006, Chesney was presented with a plaque commemorating his sales of 25 million albums.
"Every album has songs that make me go deeper places as a singer, that force me to open up a little more because I don't even know if I can make it mean something. Those songs, though, always end up being the things that stand out, and that show me a lot of what's inside my soul. 'You Saved Me' was that kind of song, because you just have to put it all out there without pushing.” Kenny Chesney.