Kenny Chesney Admits Mixed Feelings About Tuscaloosa Concert

“Either way it went, it just seemed rude,” said Kenny.

Just four weeks after tornadoes ripped through Alabama on April 27, Kenny Chesney brought his Goin’ Coastal Tour to more than 7,000 fans at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater as a way to lift spirits and to raise money for the recovery efforts.

During a seminar at the Billboard Country Music Summit, held in Nashville on June 7, Kenny said he had mixed feelings about performing the concert in Tuscaloosa on May 25. Kenny recalled his surprise when thousands of fans attended one of his stadium concerts in Detroit at a time when the city was still reeling from economic strain. “That was one of the first times I realized that this is an escape for people. This is something different than just coming to a concert,” said Kenny.

Still, with his concert scheduled mere weeks after the devastation in Alabama, Kenny wasn’t fully persuaded that he should perform the concert in Tuscaloosa. “In Tuscaloosa, I was on the fence on whether I wanted to do that show or not. Either way it went, it just seemed rude. It seemed rude not to go after the storms, but it also seemed rude to play [the show],” said Kenny.

“I didn’t know the right thing to do—I’ve never been in that situation before," he continued. "But everybody involved said, ‘These people need something to look forward to. They want something to hang their hat on. They want something to hold on to, and you’re it.’ I don’t think about things like that usually, I really don’t. It makes you realize how powerful music can be and how much people love it and how much music is a part of their lives.”

The city of Tuscaloosa was badly hit, with nearly 50 residents losing their lives. Kenny donated all fees from the show to the tornado victims, including fees earned by his band, management and booking agent.

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