He already has more than two dozen major awards, but Kenny Chesney's most recent one has nothing to do with his music. The 51-year-old is the latest recipient of the Country Radio Broadcasters (CRB) Artist Humanitarian Award, in honor of his numerous charitable efforts, including his Love for Love City charity, which he launched after the devastating Hurricane Irma, a Category 5, wreaked havoc on St. John and other parts of the Virgin Islands.
"I'm really honored," Chesney said from stage when accepting the honor. "I've really got a lot of emotions about standing up here today ... I'm very thankful. I'm very honored to stand up here, to receive this. But in ways, I wouldn't say embarrassed by it, I'm just a little uncomfortable taking recognition for something that a lot of people did. I feel very fortunate that God has given me a gift to communicate with people through music."
Chesney helped evacuate residents of St. John, as well as animals, and helped fly in necessary supplies, including food and water, after Hurricane Irma. In addition, he donated all of the proceeds from his latest Songs for the Saints record to help the ongoing recovery efforts.
"I realize that I have a unique platform to help when needed in the Virgin Islands," Chesney noted. "And it was such a unique period for me; the Songs for the Saints album was something that, as a lot of you guys know when I've seen you out on the road that truly came from the heart."
Chesney will hit the road later this year on his Chillaxification Tour, where he hopes he will also get the chance to talk about his first passion: giving back.
"I have been doing this for a little while now and I feel that a lot of us that have been doing this for a while with me, it kind of feels like family in a lot of ways," Chesney reflected. "When somebody in the family hurts, we all hurt. And I've felt that from all of you guys. I want to say I really appreciate it. It gave me so much energy to go out on the road ... I'm really proud of the record. And I'm proud of this. I appreciate it."
Find tour dates at KennyChesney.com.
Photo Credit: EB Media PR/Allister Ann