Recently mis-married country music superstar Kenny Chesney has a lot going on to take his mind off his recent split with Renee Zellweger after just four months of marriage.
Songwriter’s association ASCAP just announced that it will present Chesney with the “ASCAP Voice of Music Award” during the 43rd Annual ASCAP Country Music Awards gala on Monday, October 17, 2005 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.
The Voice of Music Award is given to recognized artists and songwriters whose music “gives people’s lives a voice through song.” Kenny Chesney joins a small group of four songwriters who have previously received this award: Garth Brooks, George Strait, Diane Warren and Amy Grant.
“Kenny is a unique artist who has the ability to captivate millions with songs that are honest, heartfelt and entertaining,” says ASCAP President and Chairman of the Board Marilyn Bergman. “He is a superstar, yes, but he is a songwriter first,” she said, noting that Chesney began his career in Nashville as a staff writer for Acuff-Rose Music Publishing.
Chesney, from Luttrell, Tennessee, is the reigning Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year. In the past year, he has sold more concert tickets than any other artist, with the exception of Prince. He is the only country artist to headline stadiums this past summer. His Greatest Hits, No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems, and the CMA album of the Year When The Sun Goes Down have each sold over 4 million copies, and his reflective Be As You Are: Song From An Old Blue Chair debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top 200 Album chart in February.
“Kenny brings a special magic to the stage. When he performs, you feel as if he is your best friend, speaking directly to you through each song. His music celebrates the every day things in life, things we hold dear to our hearts,” says ASCAP Senior Vice President Connie Bradley.
Beyond the ASCAP award, Chesney will release his second studio album of the year on November 8, The Road and the Radio is expected to feature 11 tracks, including first single “Who You’d Be Today,” a breakup ballad zipping up the country charts, “Tequila Loves Me (Even if You Don’t),” “Another Beer in Mexico,” “Living in Fast Forward” and “You Save Me.”
Chesney has a November 7 performance scheduled on ABC’s Good Morning America in NYC’s Times Square to promote the release, and the network also has a Chesney special to air the week of Thanksgiving.
For her part, Zellweger was so incensed by a gossip report in the NY Post’s PageSix column linking her once again with former boyfriend, Irish singer Damien Rice, that she called the writer from the lobby of the Post’s Manhattan office and demanded to see him. Zellweger then denied the claims she was planning a trip to visit Rice, saying the report was “hurtful. It wasn’t true. It made me look slutty.”