“Backstory: Kenny Chesney”

“Backstory: Kenny Chesney” — Football’s Loss Was Music’s Gain


(NASHVILLE, TENN.) July 9, 2012 – “It was literally like the hand of
God going, ‘Okay, this is why you can’t play sports anymore,’” says
Kenny Chesney when he redirected his drive and ambition from sports to
music as a college freshman. Backstory: Kenny Chesney, premiering
Thursday, July 12, 10:00 p.m./ET on Great American Country (GAC) tells
Chesney’s remarkable story — through those closest to him including NFL
coaches Sean Payton and Jon Gruden and tour mate Jake Owen — of a
football fanatic and the detour that led him to become one of the most
successful artists in contemporary music. Many never before seen
photographs from the singer’s personal collection are included in this
one-hour biodoc.

Although Chesney scored his first Top 10 hit in 1995, what followed
was valuable time spent on the road and in the studio learning his
craft. “I had a greatest hits album with 17 songs on it and nobody knew
who I was,” he recalls. “But they knew the songs.” After some soul
searching Chesney admitted to himself that he was not going to be one of
his heroes. “There were a lot of guys trying to be George Strait at
that time and I was one of them,” he says. “I can’t be somebody else
and still be successful. I had to get better as an artist, a songwriter
and a musician because if I didn’t, I was going to have my little run
and that was going to be it. There was something inside of me that was
not going to let me settle and it’s still there.”

The lifelong sports fan began treating everything he did like an
athlete, even taking a trainer on the road with him for two years. It
was a metamorphosis that affected every aspect of his career. “My song
sense changed, the way Buddy (Cannon) and I recorded our records
changed, the way we mixed them changed.” The island influence in his
lifestyle translated into his writing and performing and it suited him
well. The amazing transformation grew with the release of the quadruple
platinum LP, No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem in 2002. By 2004 Chesney
was selling out stadiums and remains one of the few artists in any genre
to still be doing so today.

“This is definitely a more intimate look at how Kenny Chesney rose
from a being a member of the pack to one of music’s top superstars,”
says GAC GM/SVP Sarah Trahern. “We appreciate his willingness to share
his stories and his personal photographs with our viewers.”

It’s been 17 years, but the eight-time Entertainer of the Year winner
shows no signs of slowing down. He recently released Welcome to the
Fishbowl and continues to sell out stadiums on his Brothers of the Sun
tour with Tim McGraw. “I’m not going to sit here and say I want to win
two more Entertainer of the Year awards or sell another 30 million
records, but I do. But I’m not going to tell you that’s incredibly
important to me. I want to get better at what I do; I just want to
write the best songs I can and put on the best show out there and that
other stuff will take care of itself.”

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