Kenneth Arnold Chesney was born on March 26, 1968, in Knoxville, Tennessee. Chesney grew up in the heartland of country music and rock & roll but never seriously considered a career in music until he reached East Tennessee State University. It was there that his hard work and determination to be in the business began. He received his first guitar at age eighteen and taught himself how to play. Chesney's very first were played for tips during his college years, often operating out of a local Mexican restaurant. It was during this time that he sold 1,000 copies of a demo album. Chesney also played as part of a school bluegrass band. Playing as often as he could in college, Chesney slowly built a following and decided to move to Nashville in order to further his career.
He managed to land a recording contract with Capricorn Records in 1992 and they helped him to release his debut album, In My Wildest Dreams, in 1993. Unfortunately, soon after the album release, the label shut down its country music division, leaving Kenny Chesney on his own. But In My Wildest Dreams showed off his talent and many record labels took notice, and soon after Chesney signed with RCA subsidiary BNA. He followed his signing with the albums All I Need to Know (1995), Me and You (1996) and I Will Stand (1997), but it was his 1999 album Everywhere We Go that was his breakthrough. The album has since reached double-platinum status, selling over two million copies, and was his first work to reach the top five in the country album charts. It was also the first Kenny Chesney album to spawn more than one number one single, with both "How Forever Feels" and "You Had Me From Hello" reaching the top spot.
Although Everywhere We Go only reached number five, the commercial success of the album launched Chesney's career. His first compilation album, 2000's Greatest Hits, began a string of hits that saw seven of his next eight albums reach number one. Some of the albums that reached the top spot and went multi-platinum were No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems (2002), When the Sun Goes Down (2004), The Road and the Radio (2005), and Lucky Old Sun (2008). The 2002 and 2004 albums have been the best selling of Chesney's studio albums, with each having sold over 4 million albums, according to the RIAA. Additionally, eleven singles released by Chesney since 1999 have reached number one on the US Country Singles chart. When the Sun Goes Down captured Chesney his first CMA Award for Album of the Year. Over the years, Chesney has worked with a number of fellow country artists both in recording and in concert, including co-writing the 2007 Rascal Flatts country hit "Take Me There." Chesney has performed duets with Uncle Kracker, Mac McAnally, Willie Nelson and Dave Matthews.