Country singer/songwriter Kenny Chesney was the featured guest for the GRAMMY Museum's An Evening With ... series on April 28. Before an intimate audience, the GRAMMY-nominated artist discussed his songwriting process, touring, musical influences, and latest album, Hemingway's Whiskey, among other topics. Following the discussion, Chesney performed an acoustic set, including "You And Tequila."
"I was this country guy from East Tennessee on a label with 311 [and] Widespread Panic, so I was the odd man out," recalled Chesney about his career start on Capricorn Records. "Being on that label and those years on the road allowed me to grow and allowed me to learn. It was like playing Double-A baseball before you go to the major leagues."
A native of Knoxville, Tenn., Chesney grew up in the nearby town of Luttrell as an avid listener of country and rock and roll music. He emerged a local music favorite, playing restaurants and selling 1,000 copies of his self-released demo. After graduating from East Tennessee State University in 1991, he moved to Nashville and took a residency at The Turf, a local honky-tonk bar, which led to his securing a recording contract with Capricorn Records and the release of his debut album, In My Wildest Dreams, in 1994. Chesney switched over to BNA Records for the release of 1995's All I Need To Know, and two years later he scored his first Country Singles No. 1 hit with "She's Got It All," a track from his platinum-certified I Will Stand. In 1999 Chesney took two more songs to No. 1 with "You Had Me From Hello" and "How Forever Feels."
No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems was released in 2002 and became Chesney's first of six albums to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Released in 2010, Hemingway's Whiskey debuted at No. 1 and has spawned the hits "The Boys Of Fall" and "Somewhere With You." A top concert attraction, Chesney ranked fourth on Pollstar's Top 100 North American tours midway through 2011. Chesney has three GRAMMY nominations to his credit, the most recent in 2009 for Best Country Collaboration With Vocals for "Down The Road" with singer/songwriter Mac McAnally.
Upcoming GRAMMY Museum events include Great Guitars: Gary Lucas (July 20), An Evening With Weird Al Yankovic (July 25), Great Guitars: George Lynch (July 27), and Homegrown: The 88 (July 28).
For more information on the GRAMMY Museum, visit www.grammymuseum.org.
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