Kenny Chesney‘s new album “Here and Now” debuted at number-one on the Billboard 200 albums chart, edging out Drake‘s new mixtape “Dark Lane Demo Tapes.” It’s Chesney’s 19th studio album and his 9th to top the chart. But perhaps surprisingly the country veteran has never won a Grammy. Could this album finally change that?
“Here and Now” isn’t just number-one, it’s the biggest country debut in almost two years. It racked up 233,000 album units, which are calculated by combining traditional album sales with individual track sales and online streams. As with most country albums, the vast majority of Chesney’s total came from traditional album sales (222,000). And those sales were largely driven by Chesney bundling his album with concert ticket sales for his upcoming tour, which is how many artists boost their numbers on the charts.
Nevertheless, it’s the third biggest sales week of the year, behind only BTS‘s “Map of the Soul: 7” (347,000 units) and The Weeknd‘s “After Hours” (275,000 units). So could it bring him that overdue Grammy? To date he has been nominated six times. Three of those were for Best Country Collaboration: “Hey Good Lookin'” with Clint Black, Jimmy Buffett, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, and George Strait (2005); “Shiftwork” with Strait (2009) and “Down the Road” with Mac McAnally (2010).
Then Chesney was nominated twice for Best Country Duo/Group Performance: “You and Tequila” with Grace Potter (2012) and “Setting the World on Fire” with Pink (2017). Amazingly, he didn’t earn a nomination by himself until 2018 when he picked up a bid for Best Country Album for “Cosmic Hallelujah.” That was his 17th album, but his very first Grammy nom in that category.
It’s not like Chesney’s industry peers don’t like him, though. The Country Music Association awarded him Entertainer of the Year four times (2004, 2006-2008). The Academy of Country Music gave him Entertainer of the Year four times too (2005-2008). But for some reason the recording academy that hands out the Grammys has hardly given him the time of day. Do you think he has a chance of collecting that elusive hardware when the awards are next handed out?
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