Nashville, TN. (Top40 Charts/ RCA Records) - With 25% of 2007 spent at No 1, it should come as no surprise that Kenny Chesney's songs have come to define country music in the 21st century. What is slightly staggering is that with 'Better As A Memory' breaking into the Top 10 on the Billboard/R&R Country Chart, it marks his 24th straight Top 10, making it the longest consecutive run of Top 10 hits this millennium.
'I just know how psyched I was when I got that first Top 10 hit,' Chesney laughs. 'Beyond that, you don't think about how many… you just hope there's gonna be another one. I've been very lucky: some of the best writers in the whole world let me record some of their very best songs and I've written a few that hit people as well… but the record, wow, that's pretty cool.'
For Chesney - the three consecutive and reigning Academy of Country Music and three time and reigning Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year - records are becoming a matter of course over the last few years. Not only has he been the only artist to sell over a million tickets each of the past 6 years, but that stat makes him the biggest ticket seller of this century as well.
Beyond his own 14 weeks at weeks at No 1 - 6 weeks with 'Never Wanted Nothing More,' 5 with ACM Song, Single and Video of the Year nominee 'Don't Blink' and 3 with his self-penned 'Beer In Mexico' - Chesney logged another 3 weeks at No 1 as the co-writer of Rascal Flatts' 3 week chart-topper 'Take Me There.' With the ACM Vocal Event of the Year 'Shiftwork' duet with George Strait spending multiple weeks at No 2 and the current 'Better As A Memory,' the platinum-plus Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates is practically a greatest hits package on its own.
'You know, the radio was everything for us growing up,' concedes the leading ACM nominee. 'Now people have I-Pods, MP-3s, all kinds of stuff beyond their car radio. But I still think that it's riding around with your friends - or driving to be somewhere you really wanna be - that songs become a big part of your life. So to hear that I've got the longest run of Top 10s since 2000, well, that means my songs have been a big part of a lot of people's lives. Is there anything better for someone who does what I do? I mean, I look at the songs of Springsteen, Mellencamp, the Eagles, Jackson Browne, Van Halen… what they meant to me!?! That's what I hope this music means to other people.
With Chesney's Poets & Pirates 2008 Tour - sponsored by Corona Extra - again being the only country tour to tackle NFL Stadiums, the man who played to close to 43,000 in Baltimore last weekend is on the road and rocking the fans like only he knows how. In spite of a pretty serious injury in Columbia , SC - where the hard-charging entertainer went on to play his entire 100+ show before having his boot cut off - Chesney is committed to remaining the experience that makes summer official again this year.
'To me, summer is all about having fun, forgetting your problems, being with your friends. That's what being on the road with my guys is like for me - and judging by the tailgate parties, the stories we hear in meet & greet and the faces I see in the crowd, it's like that for the fans, too. Pretty cool.'