Kenny came to Nashville fresh out of college with a headful of dreams and a fistful of songs. He didnt know how his adventure was going to turn out, but he intended to put his whole heart into it. Along the way, he released 17 albums, has now scored 29 No. 1s, played 135 stadiums and became the only country act on Billboards Top 10 Touring Acts of the Last 25 Years, helping break a lot of todays headliners along the way.
Recognizing the impact the man who released Cosmic Hallelujah on Friday has had on creativity in American pop music, both the Country Music Association and BMI are honoring his mark creatively, and beyond with the Pinnacle and Presidents Award respectively. The Pinnacle Award has been given only twice; the Presidents Award -- presented across genres -- includes pop, rock, hip-hop and Latin songwriters.
These honors are a little hard to get my head around, says Chesney. I do what I do keep trying to make better music, play better shows. To me, if youre committed to songs, youre always trying to grow and learn and figuring stuff out. Its why every album I release, I try to keep clearing the bar the last one set and its hard.
Kennys compulsion to always create better music that hits his audience deemed the No Shoes Nation in the heart has resulted in Setting The World on Fire, his in-the-moment-plunge-into-love song with P!NK having its second week at No. 1 on the Mediabase chart and fourth week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, which measures airplay, streams and downloads. Fire is also hovering outside the Top 20 on Hot AC.
With appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Today, The Talk and The Late Late Show with James Corden, the East Tennessee songwriter/superstars latest has been garnering a glowing critical response. USA Today proclaimed, Chesney goes deeper on new album, while The New York Times enthused Cosmic Hallelujah is a long, long way from Mr. Chesneys typical arena-country ballads about rural pleasures and island getaways and NPR cited it for folks storytelling, souls honesty and gospels spirit. Newsday raved, The result will fit nicely between Friends in Low Places and Keep Your Hands To Yourself. In other words, country perfection.
Theres nothing better than getting new music to the fans, Kenny says. Its what this whole journey was built on. From the time The Tin Man got me signed to Acuff Rose Music and then Capricorn Records by Phil Walden, who didnt even do country music singing songs that showed how people like me lived has been the reason Ive chased this dream. This week, its like its coming true in some ways But you know me, theres always more to sing, to play, to do.
With the BMI Award being given Nov. 1, Kenny is first being recognized as a songwriter with The President's Award. Then on Nov. 2, he receives the Pinnacle Award recognizing his impact on and beyond countrys traditions during the 50th Annual Country Music Awards, broadcast live on ABC