Country music fans can’t help but know who Kenny Chesney is. Though he might not quite be the most well-known country singer of all time, he’s pretty close to it. His loyal fan base, the No Shoes Nation, turn out in droves for every tour, and his well-loved, relatable country music has taken him all over the world. Whether you’re a casual listener or a dedicated fanatic of the genre, you’ve heard Kenney Chesney sing and play his guitar. If you’re wondering how Kenney Chesney achieved a net worth of $190 million, then look no further, we have the answers you need.
No Silver Spoons Here
Good pop music can come from people who sing about their chucks and St. Laurent, but country music is more gritty at its heart. Most genuinely successful country musicians came from humble roots and worked to get where they are in life. Kenny Chesney is no exception to this rule. The charismatic Chesney taught himself to play the guitar, and his vocal prowess is pure talent. It was his drive and passion that got him where he is in life today.
Born March 26, 1968, at St. Mary’s Medical Center of Knoxville, Tennessee, Kenny had a pretty standard childhood. He was raised in Luttrell, Tennessee, by his parents Karen Chandler, a hairstylist, and David Chesney, who was an elementary school teacher. If you’re wondering about how Kenny got his toned physique, it’s probably due to the fact that he was always athletic. Like many young men, Chesney played baseball and football in high school. Staying active is part of what gives the, now fifty-one-year-old, singer his energetic presence on stage.
After graduating from Gibbs High in 1986, he did what young people do and moved on to college to study for a sensible degree. In his case, Kenny studied advertising at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City. Kenny graduated in 1990, but while he was at the university, he was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. Beyond that, he was also a member of the ETSU Bluegrass Program.
Perhaps choosing advertising as his fallback career option helped Kenny along the way to stardom. Indeed, his career has benefited from his outstanding public image. Moreover, knowing what to look for when promoting your talents may have contributed to his wild success. It certainly doesn’t hurt to be savvy about how to sell things if you plan to be famous. After all, fame is just good advertising of a specific type. Mostly though, Kenny’s stardom comes from the outstanding music he writes, plays, sings, and produces.
“The Terminor,” Kenny’s first guitar was a Christmas gift. He must have really loved the present since he immediately set about teaching himself to play it, and he succeeded well enough to make a stellar career out of his hobby. The year before he graduated from East Tennessee State University, Kenny recorded a self-released demo album at the Classic Recording Studio. He sold a thousand copies and used the money for a better guitar. Upgrading your equipment is essential when you plan to make a career out of your talents.
During that time, he also performed regularly at local clubs in Johnson City. Upon graduation, Chesney headed to Nashville, the heart of the country music universe. Also known as Music City, Nashville is a stop on the way to country stardom for many recording artists. Though there’s fierce competition there, it’s also home to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Country Music Magazine, and numerous other businesses that only exist because of the thriving community of musicians who flock the musical metropolis. In short, it’s a smart move, though not an easy one for aspiring county music stars.
Making it Big
Kenny worked playing venues around Nashville for a while before he was picked up for a regular gig as the resident performer at The Turf, which is located in the historic district of Nashville. It was there his success began to take off, though it’s fair to say that with determination and talent like Kenny has, he was going to find a way to win anyhow.
Clay Bradley, the head of writer relations at BMI, heard Chesney play in 1992. He knew he was listening to something special, and he wasn’t afraid to say so. Equally noteworthy, Bradley liked Kenny as a person and wanted to see him succeed. Lucky for Kenny, Clay was friends with Troy Tomlinson of the Opryland Music Group. As a result of that, Kenny auditioned for Troy, playing five songs and eventually walking away with a songwriter’s contract.
Though parts of his early career involved writing for others as well as himself, Kenny was on his way. Two years later, his debut album, In My Wildest Dreams, came out from the independent label Capricorn Records. The album sold around ten thousand copies before Capricorn closed it’s doors in Nashville and moved down to Atlanta.
Since then, Kenny has been a very busy man. Altogether he has recorded a massive twenty albums, of which all twenty are certified Gold or higher by the RIAA. He’s sold millions of copies of his songs worldwide and in the process, gotten paid quite well for it. Kenny has done countless tours, and he’s made more than 40 Top 10 singles on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts. Of those hits, thirty reached number one.
For his contributions to the world of country music, Kenny has been nominated for and won dozens of awards, including four consecutive Entertainer of the Year Awards from 2005-2008. Though perhaps the most unusual was a yodeling award he won in 1982, in Switzerland when he was just fourteen. Kenny has always been talented.
A hundred and ninety million dollars is a colossal sum to make from a single career path. Though Kenny has undoubtedly given his share back as well. He’s an active philanthropist and even met his, very brief, wife Renee Zelwegger at an aid event for tsunami victims. Though his marriage only lasted months and ended in annulment, Kenny has succeeded at pretty much everything else he’s ever set his mind on doing. Every penny of Kenny Chesney’s vast fortune comes from hard work and sheer talent at doing what he loves.