Kenny Chesney releases his new album Cosmic Hallelujah today and next week will compete for yet another Entertainer of the Year trophy at the 50th CMA Awards. But Chesney is already entering country’s music biggest celebration as a winner.
The singer, whose duet with Pink “Setting the World on Fire” recently topped the charts, is the 2016 recipient of the Country Music Association’s Pinnacle Award, given to an artist who has achieved global success with both ticket and record sales. So far, only two other artists have received the special award: inaugural honoree Garth Brooks in 2005 and Taylor Swift in 2013.
Chesney, who has 43 career CMA nominations and eight wins, four of them in Entertainer of the Year, won’t tour in 2017, aside from a few festival appearances.
“When I’m really busy I crave being still, and when I’m still I start to freak the hell out,” Chesney tells Rolling Stone Country.
But the break won’t last too long. He predicts a big 2018 tour.
“The second half of the year I’ll be mentally busy prepping for ’18, but the first half I’m going to be doing some shows and I’m hoping to be creative in some way,” he says. “Hopefully, I’ll get to spend some more time with my family and reconnect with the people you’re not supposed to have to get reconnected to, but that is my life and that is my truth.”