Kenny Chesney Tops First-Half Acts


Kenny Chesney at rehearsals for the 43rd Annual ACM Awards Show in Las Vegas. Photo provided by the Academy of Country Music.

July 3, 2008 — The first six months of 2008 are now history, and no artist wrangled more airplay out of the year thus far than Kenny Chesney.

According to Country Aircheck’s assessment of radio broadcast data from Mediabase, Kenny’s total plays across the nation’s airwaves outdistanced every other artist in the country format from January to June, with Carrie Underwood finishing second and Taylor Swift placing third.

That news comes as Kenny’s being included alongside a couple of rock music titans — Eric Clapton and Bon Jovi — in a MasterCard contest, the Roots of Rock Sweepstakes. Contestants register to win a trip to visit Nashville, London and New York — the music capitals that are most important to each respective artist — with a chance to see an intimate performance in each act’s hometown.

Kenny’s pretty impressed to be in league with Eric and Bon Jovi.

"It was an honor to be considered with this company," he says.

This weekend, Kenny will have another rocker — ex-Van Halen vocalist Sammy Hagar — in his company. Sammy joins Kenny at his Poets & Pirates tour stop at Nashville’s LP Field Saturday. Also on the bill are Keith Urban, LeAnn Rimes and Gary Allan, who also made the Country Aircheck list of the Top 10 first-half artists.

Here is the entire ranking:

1. Kenny Chesney
2. Carrie Underwood
3. Taylor Swift
4. Brad Paisley
5. Rascal Flatts
6. George Strait
7. Alan Jackson
8. Montgomery Gentry
9. Rodney Atkins
10. Gary Allan