Unarguably one of the greatest talents county music has ever produced, Kenny Chesney is a singer, songwriter, and record producer whose music has not only topped country music charts but also the Billboard Hot 100 chart, making him one of the most successful country artists to have crossed over. A further testament to this is that the six-time recipient of the Academy of Country Music award has sold over 30 million albums worldwide.
Because of how famous Kenny has become, almost everything about him has become a subject that piques the interest of many people. From his love life to his career accomplishments, this musician has remained one of the most popular individuals people keep up with a great deal.
He Started Taking Music Serious Before Graduating from College
Kenny Chesney was born Kenneth Arnold Chesney to Karen Chandler and David Chesney on the 26th of March, 1968, in Knoxville, Tennessee. His mother was a professional hairstylist while his father was a school tutor. He has one sibling, a sister named Jennifer Chandler, and they’re of English and Irish descent.
Chesney attended Gibbs High School in Corryton, Tennessee before enrolling at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City where he studied Advertising. A year before he graduated in 1990, the young aspiring musician recorded a self-released demo album which he was able to sell a thousand copies of while performing at local clubs in Johnson City. He went on to use the proceeds from the album sales to buy himself a new guitar and moved to Nashville once his education was complete.
In Nashville, Kenny Chesney became the resident performer at a bar in the city. In 1992, he was able to meet a country music executive who gave him an audition and later offered him a songwriting contract. The following year, sequel to the launch of a country music division at Capricorn Records, Chesney was able to land a recording contract as the rest became history.
Kenny Chesney has Released at Least 26 Albums and None of Them Flopped
He released his debut album, In My Wildest Dreams, in 1994 and has since that time put out more than two dozen bodies of work (studio, compilation, and live albums). None of these has been a wasted effort.
To put things in perspective, he has 19 studio albums, 5 compilation albums, and two live albums. Impressively, 14 of his albums have been certified gold or higher by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Out of this 14, three were certified platinum four times, they include his sixth studio album titled No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem (2002), and his eight studio album, When the Sun Goes Down (2004). The other is his first Greatest Hits (2000) compilation.
That’s not all, ten of his albums reached the number one spot on the US Billboard Top Country Albums chart. It is even more remarkable when you consider the fact that he attained this feat consecutively. So far, the American country music singer has delivered no fewer than 40 Top 10 singles on the Country Airplay and the US Billboard Hot Country Songs. In view of all these, it is only natural that he has sold over 30 million albums across the globe.
How Rewarding has His Career Been?
Kenny Chesney has for a few years now been amongst the highest-earning country music stars. According to Forbes, the Tennessee native in 2018 earned $37 million, making him the third highest-paid country music star of the year.
The following year, the popular American business magazine reported that the country artist earned $31 million to retain his spot among the highest-paid country acts of the year. At the 5th spot, he was only bested by Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, Zac Brown Band, and Luke Bryan. They respectively earned $32, $35, $38.5, and $42.5 million.
No one needs to be told that the major source of Chesney’s wealth is his music career. Apart from music, he earns from his company Fishbowl Spirits LLC, and an endorsement deal with popular brands like Corona. With that, it is no surprise to see that his net worth is pegged at around $190 million.
Awards That Proves Kenny is a Country Music Icon
Many people have come to regard Kenny Chesney as a country music legend and the reason for this is not far-fetched. In addition to all that has been discussed above, the awards he has received for his efforts are a testament to the caliber of a musician he is. Way back in 1997, Kenny was honored by the Academy of Country Music as the New Male Vocalist of the Year. A few years later in 2002, he was named the Top Male Vocalist of the Year and in 2005, he received the Triple Crown Award.
From 2005 to 2008, Kenny was recognized by the Academy of Country Music as the Entertainer of the Year. He has also been named as such four times by the Country Music Association; first in 2004 and then consecutively from 2006 to 2008.
Besides numerous other awards and nominations from prestigious bodies, he has been nominated for Grammy at least six times but is yet to bag a win.
Kenny Chesney’s Marriage to Renee Zellweger Began and Ended in 2005
Kenny Chesney was previously married to the multiple Golden Globe Award-winning actress, Renee Zellweger, who is best known for her roles in films like Nurse Betty (2000), Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001), Chicago (2002), and Cold Mountain (2003).
The two are said to have first met each other at a tsunami relief event in January 2005. They soon began seeing each other as things got very real for the couple in the months that followed. To the surprise of everyone around the couple and their fans, the pair took the bold step of entering into a marriage contract on May 9, 2005, less than five months after their first encounter. Their wedding ceremony was held on the island of St. John.
What Led to Their Separation
Kenny Chesney and Renee Zellweger’s whirlwind romance went on to last for only four more months before they both announced they were seeking an annulment to their marriage on September 15, 2005.
When filling court papers, Zellweger cited fraud as the reason for the end of the marriage. The word went on to cause a stir, prompting the actress to clarify that it was simply legal language and not a description of her soon to be ex-husband’s character. The annulment was finalized in December of that year.
The Musician Might Be Engaged To Mary Nolan
Following the end of the marriage, Chesney maintained a low profile in regards to his dating life for a few years. This however ended sometime in 2012 when he began dating a woman only identified as Mary Nolan.
Nolan, whom almost nothing is known about, has attended multiple award shows with her superstar boyfriend and the pair appear to be having the time of their lives. It is not clear if they plan to get married although a few reports have indicated that they might be engaged.
Before Nolan, it was rumored that Kenny dated Jamie Hill Fuller and Vanessa Million. The claims were never confirmed just as there is no concrete evidence that justifies the speculations about Kenny Chesney being gay.
The rumor about his sexual orientation started after the use of the word ‘fraud’ in court documents filed by his ex-wife for annulment. Some sections of the media reported that the odd legal word is a way to say that Chesney was gay. Renee Zellweger at the time denied all of the rumors, calling for the public and media to refrain from drawing derogatory and untrue conclusions.