Kenneth Arnold Chesney (born March 26, 1968) is an American country music singer.
Kenny Chesney was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. His music career started by playing tunes at local places around Johnson City like Chucky's Trading Post, a small Mexican restaurant, and Quarterbacks BBQ. He recorded his first album in 1991 at Classic Recording Studio in Bristol, Virginia. A thousand copies were made and Chesney sold them at his busking gigs. His album sales helped in buying himself a new Martin guitar. After he graduated from college, he headed to Nashville, where he performed everywhere he could, including a place called HounDogs. He also did regular gigs at a southern club called Turf. After making the rounds of the music publishers in Nashville, Chesney got a contract in 1992 with BMI and Opryland Music Group.
Kenny's first album, In My Wildest Dreams, was released on the independent Capricorn Records label in 1994. The album's lead-off singles, "The Tin Man" and "In My Wildest Dreams" (the latter co-written by Aaron Tippin), reached the lowest regions of the charts. The album sold about 10,000 copies before the label folded. "The Tin Man" was later re-recorded on Kenny's All I Need To Know album, his first major label album; the song was cut a third time on his 2001 Greatest Hits collection. (That third version was released as a single in 2001.)
His first major hit was "Fall in Love," which reached the Country Top 10 in 1995. The follow-up, "All I Need to Know," also reached the Top 10, but ensuing follow-ups were not so successful. In 1996, he scored the Top 5 hit, "Me and You", and returned again with "When I Close My Eyes" in early 1997. (The latter song gave Kenny his first #1 on Radio & Records, although the song peaked at #2 on Billboard.) He hit No. 1 on Billboard for the first time with "She's Got It All" in August 1997; the song spent three weeks at #1.
Other No. 1 hits included "How Forever Feels" (six weeks in 1999); "The Good Stuff" (seven weeks in 2002); "There Goes My Life" (seven weeks in 2003); and "When the Sun Goes Down" (a duet with Uncle Kracker; three weeks in 2004). Notable No. 2 hits include "That's Why I'm Here" (1998); "Young" (2002); "Big Star" (2003); "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem" (2003); "The Woman With You" (2004) and "Who You'd be Today (2005)".
While some believe Chesney's music shows the influence of Jimmy Buffett and John Mellencamp, he often performs several traditional country songs at his shows (particularly, music from George Jones). He won the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year honor in both 2004 and 2006.
In January 2005, Chesney released the album Be As You Are: Songs from an Old Blue Chair, supporting the album with his Somewhere in the Sun Tour and in November 2005. The album was a lower key affair sonically than most of Chesney's recent albums. Chesney released his second album of that year, The Road and The Radio, with the song "Living in Fast Forward" being one of the hits from the album.
In February 2006, Chesney was presented with a plaque commemorating his sales of 25 million albums. On May 23, 2006, Chesney was honored at the Academy of Country Music Awards as Entertainer of the Year.
In the summer of 2007, Chesney will play as part of the Flip Flop Summer Tour.