Kenny Chesney Reflects on Life-Changing 'Songs for the Saints' Album

Kenny Chesney's highly-anticipated Songs for the Saints album is finally out. The record became a labor of love for Chesney, who wrote and recorded songs that mirrored how he felt about the devastating Hurricane Irma, which wreaked havoc on St. John, the island he calls home, and other parts of the Caribbean.

"This has been one of the most unbelievable last nine months, because it taught me a lot about the human spirit," Chesney reveals on the Ty, Kelly and Chuck Show. "I've always felt like I had compassion and empathy somewhere inside of me, but what we've all dealt with since these storms has changed me in a way that I didn't see coming. I didn't see this album coming. I didn't know that I was going to be singing with Ziggy [Marley] and Jimmy Buffett and Mindy Smith, who is great.

"I didn't know what this album was going to be," he continues. "I didn't want to make it. I didn't know I was going to make it. It was just this forced hand that kind of shows you your place in the way we walk through the world, and all of a sudden I'm in here making this record."

Hurricane Irma destroyed much of St. John, including Chesney's own house, but the 50-year-old insists that there is a silver lining, at least for him personally.

"What came out of it for me is I do feel like I'm a lot more patient," Chesney concedes. "I feel like with things in my life, there's probably a different level of compassion and empathy, that maybe wasn't there before the storms."

Chesney is donating all the proceeds from Songs for the Saints to the Love for Love City Foundation, which is helping rebuild the islands. It's a generous gift, which Chesney quickly deflects.

"I never thought when I started my musical journey that I would be in a place to help at this level," says Chesney. "I feel so blessed that I'm in that spot, because I've been given a platform, and a stage, and somewhat of a voice to go in and make music that can help people heal."

The "Get Along" singer vows that the proceeds will go to specific needs the island still has, which he says are many.

"If you buy this record, Songs for the Saints, every single cent of that money is going to go into the Love for Love City Foundation, which is going to help rebuild hospitals, and rebuild schools," Chesney notes. "It's going to be able to just help the infrastructure. Some of the businesses are back now. Some of the initial infrastructure is starting to get back, but there's no hospital. That's scary. That's what I want to do. I want to be able to help on that level."

"These people that I'm writing the songs about, they don't have vacation homes there," he adds. "This is their life. It's all it's ever been."

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Order Songs for the Saints at KennyChesney.com. To make a donation to the Love for Love City Foundation, visit the organization's website.

Photo Credit: EB Media PR/Allister Ann