Kenny Chesney Recalls Being Asked to Sing on Kelsea Ballerini’s ‘Half Of My Hometown’

The roots of Eastern Tennessee run deep for country superstars Kelsea Ballerini and Kenny Chesney. On her 2020 self-titled album,…


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

April 22, 2021


10:23 am

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Kenny Chesney, Kelsea Ballerini

The roots of Eastern Tennessee run deep for country superstars Kelsea Ballerini and Kenny Chesney. On her 2020 self-titled album, Ballerini even wrote a song about her hometown called “Half Of My Hometown.” Before finalizing this track, she decided to make a call to Chesney, who ended up making an excellent addition this song.

In an interview on Today’s Country Radio with Kelleigh BannenChesney recounts the touching moment he got this call from Ballerini. 

“She just called me one day and she goes, ‘I’m calling you to poke the bear,’ and I went, ‘What are you talking about?’ She says, ‘I’m getting ready to send you a song. I want you to listen to it and think about singing on it.’ And so I said, ‘yeah, of course, send me the song,’” Chesney explains. “And I listened to it and it was hard to listen to because it was so beautiful and it was so much about not only her life, but it was about my life and the same roads we drove down and I knew I wanted to sing on it.”

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Chesney agrees that deciding to be part of this song was the right choice because of the meaning it holds for him. It’s not every day that Chesney says yes to collaborating with an artist on an album, but this was an opportunity that he couldn’t pass up.

“And I’m really proud of it,” Chesney continued. “And I told her when we were done with it, that I was glad she asked me, but I’m very proud that I’m on that song with her. If the song was terrible, I wouldn’t sing on it, because trust me, I get asked a lot to sing on a lot of records and I turn them down because the song just isn’t perfect for me to sing on. But when I heard ‘Half Of My Hometown’ I just I went, ‘Yep, I’m going to sing on this song.’

Chesney and Ballerini recently gave a stunning performance of “Half Of My Hometown” together on April 18 at the 56th ACM Awards. 

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.