One thing Kenny Chesney never lacked was the drive to accomplish great things. This drive started when he was young and knew that music was what he wanted to do. He started to make things happen for himself in high school by working hard in his academic commitments. Then, he brought that drive with him to college when he enrolled at East Tennessee State. He linked up with a band and played covers in different venues around campus, really making a name for himself in the local college community.
He also joined up with the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and the ETSU Bluegrass Program. All the while, he pursued his 4-year degree in advertising, which would really come in handy for him later on down the road. He was so grateful to his alma mater that once he’d made his fortune, he started up a foundation to help them raise the money for a new arena.
He’s Got the Filmmaking Bug
Chesney is a multi-talented man with many interests and passions, some of which include music, sports, women, and anything to do with Tennessee – not necessarily in that order. He’s gotten his hands dirty in many aspects of the entertainment world and beyond. Aside from his many Grammy-nominated albums and songs, Chesney has also worked behind the scenes, making multiple documentaries for both film and television.
He produced and directed one documentary for SEC Storied called The Color Orange: The Condredge Holloway Story, about the first black quarterback in an SEC school. He also produced The Boys of Fall, which is a documentary film about some of the biggest names in sports.
As we’ve said previously in this article, Kenny Chesney by no means had anything handed to him. He had to work his butt off to make it to the superstar status he holds today. But it wasn’t like his childhood was too rough. In fact, it was pretty adorable and exactly what you’d imagine when you think of a Southern upbringing. The star was raised in a small town east of Knoxville Tennessee, in a tight-knit family that included his mom and dad and his sister, Jennifer.
He talks about how close his parents were and how things were for him growing up in his song, “Where I Grew Up,” a song that he exclaims is the kind that you “hope to get at least 3 times in your entire career.” Even after he graduated high school, he stayed within his home state and moved a few hours away to Nashville – home of the country music stars.
He’s Super Independent
Tons of musicians are born into the industry or get hooked up because their parents know someone big when they’re young and they happen to get their foot in the door with mega-producers before they even hit the age of 18. But in Kenny Chesney’s case, he took matters into his own hands to create the life that he wanted for himself, he didn’t wait around for someone to give it to him. When he was just 21 years old, he recorded his very first album with a guitar that he’d been given for Christmas in college.
He wound up selling nearly 1,000 copies of the album and used the proceeds to buy himself another, newer, nicer guitar. That guitar was basically Chesney’s baby, and music, his one true love. He used that guitar and followed his heart straight to the top.
He’s Made a Ton of Albums
Chesney graduated from East Tennessee State in 1990 with his degree in advertising. Afterward, he headed out to Nashville to really get his foot in the door in the music and entertainment industry. When he was playing a set in one of the blues clubs, he was scouted by the head writer of relations from BMI and invited to record his first major record. In 1994, Chesney’s In My Wildest Dreams album debuted. About 20 years later, and he has now put out 20 major albums, 14 of which have made it to gold status.
In addition to his albums, he’s also made top 10 on the Billboard with 40 of his singles. 29 of those singles even made it all the way to number 1! In 2018, he ended his recent Sony Music contract and signed with Warner Brothers. Later that year, he put out his most recent album, Songs for the Saints. The king of country has sold more than 30 million albums internationally since the start of his career.