by Jessica Nicholson
Kenny Chesney is one of music’s biggest-selling superstars, but sometimes even superstars get starstruck.
Chesney recently told radio.com’s Katie Neal the last time he was starstruck around another celebrity was the time he met actor/singer Kevin Costner.
“It was a couple of years ago and we were playing this festival. Kevin Costner walked up on my bus and said hello. I couldn’t believe it. I had just watched JFK, his movie, on the bus like two nights prior, so it was really strange to have him walk up on the bus and stick out his hand. So I was starstruck for a moment, but he’s a really great guy and we talked for a long time. I did catch myself going, ‘Wow, that’s Kevin Costner.’ JFK is one of my favorite movies. To have him walk up on the bus and want to chat was pretty cool.”
Chesney has been a hard-touring road warrior for years, and he says his time off the road due to the pandemic has been filled with ups and downs.
“Last summer I grew a garden, which was fun, but I’ve written a few songs here and there. I’ve come up with about 100 different ways to be bored out of my mind. I traveled when I could. When the pandemic happened, I took it very seriously and I still take it seriously, so I haven’t traveled that much. I’ve tried to stay creative, and I’ve tried to stay positive. I haven’t done much else other than that.”
He affectionately called his garden the “Green Monster.”
“We grew everything, you name it. The Green Monster is left field at Fenway Park and I had this sign made and that’s what I named my garden. Tomatoes, all kinds of vegetables.”
He also discussed how his latest hit, “Happy Does,” is an encouragement for listeners to get off their phones and enjoy the life in front of them.
Chesney released “Happy Does” in April 2020, shortly after tours shut down and stay-at-home orders were enacted due to the spreading COVID-19 virus. Chesney noticed that although one goal of social media is to connect people, it seemed like people are more distanced than ever.
“I think my wheelhouse is talking about things that obviously make people happy,” he said. “But I feel like in our everyday life right now, we are…watching other people live their lives and trapped within our devices. When I first heard ‘Happy Does,’ I literally had two devices within a hand’s reach of me…my phone and my iPad and I was multi-tasking.”
As an artist who was on the road constantly (pre-pandemic), Chesney knows first-hand how tempting social media can be, and the negative effects that can potentially come with that.
“I think it’s very interesting that they call it social media because it makes you so anti-social, but I think that’s the message of ‘Happy Does’…it’s realizing there is a lot of life out there to live if you go do it,” he continued. “When you live on a bus and you’re bored and you’re on your phone, it’s just the way we live our lives today, but I don’t know that it’s that good for us. That’s why when I heard ‘Happy Does,’ it made me…want to escape from my phone and watch the sky, watch a sunset and share that with someone…I thought someone else out there might need to hear it, too.”
Clearly, “Happy Does” has resonated with fans, as the track sits at No. 2 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart.