Kenny Chesney: Country Music Objectifies the Hell Out of Women
Kenny Chesney is not shy about his current thoughts on the state of country music.
The 46-year-old country star is surprisingly speaking out against the "bro-country" songs that he feels have dominated the genre in recent years.
"Over the last several years, it seems like anytime anybody sings about a woman, she's in cutoff jeans, drinking and on a tailgate -- they objectify the hell out of them," he tells Billboard magazine in a new interview. "Twenty years ago, I might have written a song like that -- I probably did. But I'm at a point where I want to say something different about women."
VIDEO: Kenny Chesney Talks 'The Big Revival,' Writing About Women and Taylor Swift's Pop Crossover
Chesney is referring to his latest album The Big Revival, which has his fans seeing a much more grown-up collection of songs.
"I am learning that when you write songs about women, the perfect place to start is their spirit," Chesney told ET in September when the album came out, referring to his standout song "Wild Child," which is about a stronger, more independent woman.
"I am really excited about that song just for what it says, because it does allow a woman to be the ultimate free spirit but not be irresponsible," he continued. "I am attracted to women like that."
"I'm at a point in my career where I can't just put together a collection of songs that may sound great but don't mean anything to anybody," he also tells Billboard.
In the candid new interview, Chesney also sounds off on his country music contemporaries like Blake Shelton and Keith Urban joining mainstream shows like The Voice and American Idol.
"I'm not knocking anybody that does it, but I just don't ever see myself doing it," he says. "Can you imagine Tom Petty being a judge on American Idol?"
These days, Chesney is solely focused on his upcoming tour, but also makes it clear that despite his more mature new album, his shows will not lose the partying spirit that they've become known for.
As the magazine notes, a Chesney stadium show is often a full day's experience for fans, who show up hours early to tailgate.
"Everybody that's a part of No Shoes Nation, we're going to go rattle their cage," he says about the new tour, adding that his fans can still expect to hear him play his classic hits.
"When we go out on the road, it's going to feel like a revival because I feel great," he told ET. "I feel great about where I am in my life, in my music, and when you are in that spot in your life it's a lot more fun up on stage. I can't wait to do that."
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Watch the video to hear his thoughts about Taylor Swift's much talked-about pop music crossover.