Lifestyle & Human Interest

Country Star Kenny Chesney Makes Decision To Pay His 120 Out-of-Work Employees for Rest of Year


On May 14, country music star Kenny Chesney made an announcement that some must have seen coming, but that still saddened many of his fans.

He posted on Facebook, saying they’d “done everything possible,” tried to work out a solution, and even postponed some shows at the start of what was to be his 2020 Chillaxification Tour.

Based on expert opinions and projections, Chesney had to make the difficult decision to cancel the tour.

“I’ve laid awake many nights thinking about this, not wanting to disappoint all the people who are with us every summer … some who fly from all over the country to meet up, people who’re coming for the first time … friends who’ve met at the tailgate or the Sandbar.”

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“No Shoes Nation is not just people buying a ticket to a show, and I know that. I care, because you guys care so very much.”

“But that’s exactly why… 1) I wanted to tell you guys first 2) I hate everything about what I’m about to say.”

“No one has tried harder than my team to make the 2020 Chillaxification Tour a reality… Sadly, we can’t find a way to make it safe, to navigate water that’s just not getting any clearer.”

His team is working on finalizing the 2021 schedule, and he reassured fans that tickets would either be honored for the rescheduled date and time or refunded.

That choice was trying enough, but Chesney wasn’t done making sacrifices. He decided that even though the shows were canceled, he’d look out for his crew.

“I have 120 employees,” he said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “Thank God I don’t have to let anybody go this year. Now, if we don’t play the next two or three years, it’s going to change the dynamic of my life. And I’m not gonna lie, it’s expensive.”

When asked how much it would cost to cover those 120 employees, Chesney dodged the question.

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“I don’t want to get into numbers,” he said. “But it’s a lot of money. A lot of money. The initial shock of it, I looked at the numbers and went, Oh my God, this is overwhelming.”

“And, look, it’s affecting my life — I’m not gonna say it’s not. But I had to make a decision if I was gonna keep my lifestyle the way it was or if I’m gonna take care of my people.”

Hopefully Chesney’s 2021 plans will pan out and fans will be able to understand and appreciate the postponement, but in the meantime he’s also looking out for his own employees.

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