Kenny Chesney has been named the recipient of the 2020 Country Radio Broadcasters Artist Humanitarian Award. He’ll receive the award on Wednesday, Feb. 19 as part of the 2nd Annual Warner Music Nashville Kickoff Luncheon, which serves as the official launch of Country Radio Seminar 2020. The Blue Chair/Warner Music Nashville recording artist will also headline this year’s Kickoff Luncheon, where he’ll be joined by several artists from the Warner Music Nashville family.
Chesney’s charitable work is widespread. His Love for Love City Foundation helped spearhead the rebuilding of St. John following the devastation of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. In addition to humanitarian aid and working with local teams to facilitate physical clean-up and rebuilding, he and his core staff worked to rescue and relocate over 2,000 displaced animals of St. Thomas and St. John to several no-kill shelters and loving families in the U.S.
Chesney donated all proceeds from his Songs for the Saints album, which featured Ziggy Marley, Jimmy Buffett and Mindy Smith, to the Love for Love City Foundation. Raising over $1.1 million to date, the project continues to generate funds for St. John’s ongoing reconstruction work. Chesney also filled the St. John School for the Arts with a bounty of musical instruments, to inspire the children to go to school and be creative as they recovered from the disaster. Songs for the Saints generated the multiple week No. 1 “Get Along,” an anthem Chesney felt spoke to the spirit of people coming together post-devastation. Having already been involved with two successful PassItOn.Org campaigns with “Spread the Love” and “The Good Stuff,” the life-affirming organization requested an unprecedented third collaboration, and “Get Along” has already surpassed 2.5 billion views.
Following the bombing at the Boston Marathon, Chesney worked with the Boston Medical Center, creating the Spread the Love Fund to benefit amputee survivors. He aided survivors by selling special edition t-shirts as well as creating a place for donations, including turning a “Good Morning America” Summer Concert appearance into a fundraising opportunity. To date, Spread the Love has accrued over two million dollars, and the beneficiaries, as well as first responders, can often be seen at Chesney’s Gillette Stadium shows.
Chesney’s ongoing commitment to ocean habitat conservation extends from his years spent on the water. No Shoes Reefs has helped rebuild coral reefs in Jacksonville, Florida, as well as supported other local ocean ecology efforts around Florida and the Gulf Coast. He has also worked regularly – and often anonymously – with a myriad of other organizations, including MusiCares, the Red Cross, Farm Aid, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, ACM Lifting Lives, the CMA Foundation, Kids Wish Network and many local charities.
“It’s as if this CRS award was created for Kenny Chesney,” said CRS/CRB Board President, Kurt Johnson. “Artists with his career span are rare. Among them, artists who do as much good as he does, for as long as he has, without calling attention to it, are particularly singular. Here’s to you, Kenny.”
“I was raised to lend a hand where I could, but also to reach out quietly and keep the focus on the people who need the help,” said Chesney. “I’ve always tried to do the right thing where I could, but this award really belongs to all the people I’ve met over the years who are rebuilding their lives, their homes, their world. Watching them come together – the courage, the hours and strength they give to these things – my award is getting to be inspired by what these people have accomplished.”
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