Kenny Chesney Clarifies ACM Remarks

After suggesting that the Academy of Country Music Awards’ Entertainer of the Year award should not have been fan-voted, Kenny Chesney has assured fans that he values their support.

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After winning the award at the May 18 ceremony, Kenny expressed disappointment in the Academy’s decision to for the first time allow online fans to select the Entertainer of the Year rather than the industry group that votes in other categories. He has now taken to his official website and MySpace page to clarify his feelings to fans who might have been offended. “Sure, to make me sound ungrateful is a sexy way to spin this to drive viewers,” he writes. “It's controversy, and that sells. But realistically—and based on the response in our fan forum—you know how important you are to me, how much I believe in the way we've all built this together.” Kenny reasons that Entertainer of the Year has historically been awarded in part based on behind-the-scenes work that only industry professionals are aware of.

Montgomery Gentry’s Eddie Montgomery also expressed concern that the online vote makes the category vulnerable to possible manipulation. “I can understand where a lot of people are coming from,” he said, “like I know that Kenny was talking about it, because you do have sometimes like a young Taylor Swift coming up that's gonna have a million fans [online]. … So how do you do it fairly, you know, where the people that deserve to get noticed really get noticed?"

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