Tim Mcgraw & Kenny Chesney
Ever since Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw first went on tour in 1999, they’ve gauged their success by their best road-trip stories. Now Chesney’s the top ticket seller in country music, while McGraw has racked up Grammys and won acclaim for his acting (see: 2010’s Country Strong). This summer, on the heels of their duet ”Feel Like a Rock Star,” they’ll also team up on the Brothers of the Sun stadium tour, beginning June 2 in Tampa. We talked to the pair about songwriting, shooting hoops, and just where the past 13 years have gone.
You guys have known each other since you started out in the ’90s. Tim, I heard your daughter used to paint Kenny’s toenails.
Tim McGraw Kenny and I lived in the same neighborhood. Right before we went to the [Academy of Country Music Awards] one year, he was over, and Gracie started painting our toenails. I washed mine off, but Kenny forgot about his until he was shoved in the pool at the ACMs.
Kenny Chesney Here I am, with a lot of industry people in Los Angeles, and I look down and I’ve got my toenails painted.
What were your first impressions of each other when you met in Nashville?
Chesney Tim was a lot like me. He was from a small town, he was here to chase the dream, and that may be one of the reasons that we were instant friends.
McGraw When I started listening to the songs Kenny had written, I was blown away by what a great songwriter he was.
Chesney It’s an acquired taste.
Kenny, you started out as a songwriter, not a performer. What changed?
Chesney Well, Tim already had a record deal during this time, and to see one of your friends go out with his own band and own tour bus? You look up to that.
McGraw What he’s trying to say is ”S—, if he could do it, I could do it!” [Laughs]
What are your most vivid memories from your early days of touring together?
McGraw Kenny and I spent most of our time hanging out on the bus, talking about our careers and my family and what we wanted out of life. We learned a lot from each other.