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Kenny Chesney Remembers How He Remained Determined Early In His Career

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Kenny Chesney reflected on some of his earliest years in music during a thoughtful conversation with John C. McGinley on the latest episode of the actor’s podcast on Wednesday (January 10).

McGinley’s bi-weekly podcast, which made its debut in November, serve as “a place where storytelling, storytellers, current events, ethics, conflicts and kindness are all brought to the same table to find connective tissue between them,” the description of Connective Tissue reads. “It is a safe space for critical thinking and some different perspectives to engage our audience. There also might be quite a few candid conversations that listeners will not hear in normal interviews.”

Chesney, the fourth guest on the show, recalled meeting McGinley at a dinner party more than 15 years ago. The Knoxville-born country star reflected on his upbringing in Knoxville, Tennessee, studying advertising in college, kickstarting his music career and more throughout the podcast interview.

“From the power and process of flow, the work that goes into being ready, the role of gratitude, and the reality of being smart in achieving success, Kenny and Johnny C. go into more thoughtful places than most of modern media. Unguarded, personal and sifting through the white noise that surrounds success, Johnny C, created what is almost a late night conversation between old friends.”

Chesney remembered releasing his first few records, beginning in the mid-1990s, and reminding himself that he “had no plan B.” The country music giant wholeheartedly believed in his career, and looked at each milestone as “a building block” to reassure himself that he was headed in the right direction. McGinley replied he often senses or asks fellow actors whether they have a “plan B,” because “many actors are quite smart,” and could find potential in many fields, sparing them the “rejection” that often comes with entertainment careers.

“What sustained me early, especially in those first couple of records — when, you know, it wasn’t a very popular thing to do, to play my records at that point — what sustained me was, was that I had no plan B,” Chesney said. “I truly loved what I was doing and I believed in my heart that one day that I would see where it would take me. And each time that I got to a different place where I felt like that I was making headway, I looked at that as a building block. And I looked at that as validation that I’m on the right path.”