Kenny Chesney‘s new album, Life on a Rock, lands in stores Tuesday featuring a lot of very personal songs inspired by his time in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Since that part of the world is so precious to Kenny, he’s decided to donate a portion of the proceeds from Life on a Rock to the Friends of the US Virgin Islands National Park. That charity helps protect and preserve the islands’ natural habitat.
Kenny says, “As the world becomes more developed, protecting these wild places is going to become harder — and the cost of maintaining them needs to be covered.”
He adds, “If you’ve ever seen the trees, the oceans from a ridge, the way it all tangles together, you realize how important making sure lands like this exist for the people who come after us is.”
The songs on Life on a Rock are just as personal to Kenny as his passion for preserving the Virgin Islands. In fact, he album’s closing track, “Happy on the Hey Now (A Song for Kristi),” was so emotional for Kenny to write and record, he had to do multiple takes in the studio to get it right.
“I still don’t think I’m done with it,” Kenny says of the song, which was inspired by the death of his friend Kristi. “I would get in the studio, and I would either be very emotional or, it was just hard.”
The Hey Now referred to in the song is a boat Kenny and his friends, including Kristi, would ride around the islands. Paying tribute to her memory to close out this album seemed appropriate to Kenny.
He says, “‘Happy on the Hey Now’ just represents all the fun we had. Kristi represents the poetry and the heart and all that comes along with that.”
Look for Kenny to perform NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and ABC’s Good Morning America Tuesday.
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