Perhaps one of the most well-known names in country music today is Kenny Chesney. Fourteen of his fifteen albums have been certified Gold or higher, he has produced more than thirty Top 10 singles, and twenty-two Number One hits. Chesney was born in 1968 in Knoxville, Tennessee. He received his first guitar for Christmas one year and began to teach himself to play. In 1989, he recorded a self-released demo album at Classic Recording Studio in Bristol, Virginia. The album sold 1,000 copies as he performed at local clubs. After graduating from college, he moved to Nashville, where he performed at local clubs and became the resident performer at the honky tonk bar The Turf.
Chesney’s first album, In My Wildest Dreams, was released in 1994, and featured singles “Somebody’s Callin’” and “Whatever It Takes.” His second album, All I Need to Know, was his first album to reach Gold status and held popular singles like “The Tin Man,” “Fall in Love,” “All I Need to Know” and “Grandpa Told Me So.” “Fall in Love” and “All I Need to Know” both peaked in the Top 10 of the Country charts. Other Top 10 songs include “Me and You,” “When I Close My Eyes,” “That’s Why I’m Here,” “What I Need to Do,” “I Lost It,” “Big Star,” “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems,” and “I Go Back,” among many others.
Among Chesney’s Number One hits include “She’s Got It All,” “How Forever Feels” and “You Had Me from Hello” from the 1990s; “Don’t Happen Twice,” “The Good Stuff” and “There Goes My Life” from the 2000s; and “The Boys of Fall,” “Somewhere with You” and “Come Over” from the 2010s.
In 1997, Chesney won the Academy of Country Music’s New Male Vocalist of the Year award. In 2003, he was awarded the Top Male Vocalist of the Year and his song “The Good Stuff” received the Single Record of the Year by the ACM. CMT awarded him the Video of the Year and the Male Video of the Year awards in 2002, and the Hottest Video of the Year for “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems” in 2004. In 2005, “I Go Back” was honored with the Male Video of the Year by CMT as well. The album When the Sun Goes Down received the 2004 CMA Album of the Year award, while Chesney was also named Entertainer of the Year the same year.
In 2005, Chesney gained the prestigious Triple-Crown Award by the ACM. The next year, the ACM also awarded him with his second Entertainer of the Year award. 2007 brought Chesney his third CMA Entertainer of the Year award in four years.
Chesney has used his success as a way to get involved with many charities. His most recent work includes that done with the V Foundation, an organization dedicated to saving lives by helping to find a cure for cancer. In 1998, Chesney recorded the single “Touchdown Tennessee,” a tribute to John Ward. He is also a regular performer at Farm Aid, an organization founded by Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp that helps keep family farms on the land.
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