Wednesday, February 19, 2020
– Kenny Chesney was honored with the Country Radio Broadcasters' Humanitarian of the Year Award.
"I have to tell you, I have a lot of emotions standing up here," Chesney told the standing room only crowd of over 1,000 at the Country Radio Seminar opening luncheon. "I am embarrassed and uncomfortable, but God has given me the gift of communicating with people through music...and that's given me a unique platform to help, especially with the Virgin Islands, with Songs for the Saints, which was written in the moment and came from the heart."
"You know, I'd heard 'One Love' by Bob Marley my whole life, but when you're under that kind of stress, to see everyone coming together to rebuild and help? I got to see what that song was in action. What was really amazing were so many people who didn't really have anything, and the way they gave. You didn't have to be a musician, like me, or a politician, like Mike Bloomberg, to make a difference, and the people did."
Chesney also thanked country radio. "In 2018 when we were out doing our stadium tour, and last year, so many of you came out. Everyone wanted to talk about the relief and what we were doing (with the recovery work). I don't know about other formats, but country has always been a family - and when somebody in the family hurts, we all hurt. I felt that. It gave me a lot of energy to get out there on the road, to get onstage."
Currently in the studio finishing his next album, Chesney took time from mixing to be part of the annual Warner Music Nashville luncheon. He also recognized the work his assistant did to spearhead the rescue of more than 3,000 animals, mostly abandoned pets left by families who couldn't get them out, from St. John and St. Thomas as part of Love for Love City efforts. "Without her, the people of Tortola, across New England, animal rescues and shelters all over Florida, it wouldn't have happened. And now all those animals have homes."