Kenny Chesney’s Here and Now has had an impressive first few weeks out in the world, debuting at number-one on the Billboard 200 chart. But in a new interview with the L.A. Times, he admits that he debated whether or not it made sense to release new music during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I went back and forth in my brain to see if this was an appropriate time,” he acknowledges. “But whenever I’ve been in a funk personally, I’ve leaned on music to get me out of it.”
That thought convinced him that releasing Here and Now was the right thing to do, if only to ease some of the stress of quarantine. “We’re all in a funk, so I thought maybe I can make people smile a little bit with this music,” he adds.
Like every artist, Kenny’s taken a huge hit this year in terms of touring revenue. The singer says he worries about the future, especially because his band, crew and team amount to 120 employees.
“Thank God I don’t have to let anybody go this year,” he reflects. “Now, if we don’t play the next two or three years, it’s really gonna change the dynamic of my life. And I’m not gonna lie — it’s expensive.”
While he declined to get into specifics, Kenny allows that he’s losing “a lot of money” to keep everyone employed during the pandemic, though he doesn’t regret making that call.
“And, look, it’s affecting my life — I’m not gonna say it’s not. But I had to make a decision if I was gonna keep my lifestyle the way it was or if I’m gonna take care of my people,” the singer adds.
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