Kenny Chesney has done a lot in a very short year: released the critically-acclaimed Life On A Rock, led by the gold-certified USA Today’s Song of the Week “Pirate Flag.” He has launched Blue Chair Bay Rum, which is receiving awards and accolades in the spirits world. He launched the Spread the Love Fund to benefit the amputee victims of the Boston Marathon bombing – and he has wrapped his 2013 No Shoes Nation Tour, which rocked 19 stadiums and over 1.25 million fans.
With a year like that, it’s no wonder CBS’ “Sunday Morning” decided to catch up with Chesney 8 years after airing their first profile of the 4-time Country Music Association and the 4 consecutive Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year. In a profile which follows up on a young man verging on superstardom as he took on his first handful of NFL stadiums, “Sunday Morning” looks at a more reflective artist balancing the demands of enduring success at this level and his need to give back, make a difference and dig deeper into his creative process.
“I knew when they decided to come back, they weren’t looking for a ride on the gator or a chance to see how fast it was,” Chesney says of his second appearance on the award-winning Sunday morning news magazine. “I’ve grown a lot as an artist, as a person – and I think that was something that maybe intrigued them. A lot of soul searching goes into what we do, and I think that interested them as much as anything.”
In addition to capturing the final weekend of the No Shoes Nation Tour – marking his 10th and 11th sell-outs of Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA – the crew joined the songwriter/artist on an emotional tour of Boston Medical Center, which partners with him for the Spread the Love Fund. After visiting the Emergency Unit, Chesney also had the opportunity to meet with several of the Fund’s beneficiaries, to hear their stories, share their courage and, especially, their optimism.
“Watching what happened on tv, which the entire nation did, really threw me,” Chesney says. “But to see these amazing people who’re putting their lives back together, to hear their stories and see the way they approach getting their lives back… I was, well, moved beyond words.”
Chesney, normally reticent about this kind of media, allowed “Sunday Morning” to join him on the visit. Beyond capturing the annual yearbook distribution, a tradition started in 2002, the news crew captured the way it feels when Chesney hits the stage from as close as anyone has ever been to the man The Wall Street Journal deemed, “King of the Road.”
Making the decision to spend 2014 concentrating on his next album, the final shows in the stadium where a flag by the Kraft family who own the Patriots was hung marking the establishment of the No Shoes Nation in 2012 were emotional in their own rite. Beyond Kasey Musgraves and the Eli Young Band joining him onstage, Eric Church performed a knowing duet on “When I see This Bar,” which arrived at country radio this week.