An Open Letter to Kenny Chesney

Dear Kenny Chesney,

A lot of gay men our age have slept with women, even a lot of women.  Claiming that you cannot possibly be gay because you have slept with over a hundred women is like claiming that you cannot possibly like chocolate ice cream because you have had over one hundred bowls of vanilla.

I don’t give a shit if you’re gay or not.  What I do give a shit about is that, as usual, country musicians keep making ’00s country music look like ’70s rock, but in a sad, tattered, generic way.  It’s like country music is ’70s rock for folks who still find ’70s rock a little scandalous.

I mean, seriously.  100?  You’re one of the biggest country stars alive.  You were married once, briefly, and the best you could do is 100 women?  Come the fuck on.  That’s nothing to brag about.  Shoot, in his day, I’m sure Gene Simmons fucked 100 women between lunch and dinner.  I think Def Leppard fucked 100 women a week.  Led Zepplin had 100 groupies following them from hotel to hotel just watching them have sex with 100 women. A hundred women is just getting started for ’70s rockers.  I inadvertently fucked a hundred women just in the time it’s taken me to write this post.

Bragging about how many women you’ve slept with is kind of a douch move.  But, good lord, man, once you’ve committed to being a douche, at least really commit to it!  Don’t say a hundred.  Shoot, any damn fool who puts his mind to it can sleep with 100 people.  Give us the rock star fantasy.  Give us a number to aspire to.  A thousand, five thousand, ten thousand!  Start a rumor that every baby named Kenny in the southeast is secretly yours.  Something noteable, man.

But a hundred?  I’m sorry, but considering what you do for a living and how popular you are, a hundred makes it sound like you just weren’t trying very hard.

And that could lead a girl to wonder why.

Suddenly exhaustedly yours,

b.

55 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Kenny Chesney

  1. i didn’t see the 100 number, that’s funny, & lame.

    i saw his claim ‘i’m not gay’ roll across the news ticker this morning and i said to my wife.. “hey, kenny chesney says he’s not gay.” her response “doesn’t that mean he’s pretty much gay” my response “that’s my understanding”

    its okay kenny. i don’t listen to your music anyways.. i don’t even know what you look like.

  2. Tee Hee, in Kenny’s defense, I think he does claim that it was 100 when he stopped counting, so, you know, he could be up to 105 now or even 110.

    Ha ha ha ha ha.

  3. Plus, I’m sorry, but clearly his bragging on how many women he’s slept with is a brag designed to impress men. If Kenny wants to impress the ladies, he should be telling a story about how many times a woman comes up to him after a show with a friend and says, “Hey, you know that thing you did to me last time you were in [whatever city]? Could you do that to my friend, here?”

    A number tells us nothing about the quality.

  4. I kind of think that by the time Conway got to the “arli” in “Hello, Darling,” his work in the making women orgasm department had probably been done.

    That’s right, Kenny, come talk to us when the women at your shows need a smoke after one of your songs.

  5. He should throw out a Wilt Chamberlain kind of number.

    Wilt scored 100 points in an NBA basketball game (fact), and claimed to have slept with 20,000 women (still up for discussion).

    Now that man didn’t have to defend his sexuality.

    And yes, today’s country is a retread of 70s rock. I’ve always said the Eagles and their ilk would never hit the pop charts if they started their careers today. Instead they’d be Nashville-centric.

  6. One thing that bugged me about the whole deal was when he said “What guy who loves girls wouldn’t be angry about that?”

    The vast majority of guys who love guys and girls who love girls are assumed to love the opposite everyday. Can you imagine if we got angry about that?

  7. I love you guys so much right now I’m about ready to start bragging to Playboy about sleeping with you. Sorry, Dolphin. I hope it won’t ruin your reputation.

  8. The gentleman doth protest too much, methinks.

    And I doth not give a fork either way. Do what you do, be what you are, and STFU, please, sir. As my darling uncle says, Be Bald and Be Free.

    Frankly, I need a smoke anytime I happen to pause the clicker and see that singer boy in the gimme cap from Cumberland Gap. (I cannot remember his name; I am old, you know, but I am not cold.) HELLoooooooo darlin’. A boy who can put a roll that crisp on a cap brim is good wit’ his hands.

    And dear old Conway. I can’t see or hear the words “Hello, Darlin'” without cracking up thinking about the old door-to-door preacher joke. Haw!

  9. Grandefille – actually, I was just kidding. We did share an elevator ride with the man, but my mom really wasn’t a fan. We laughed later about it because he wouldn’t make eye contact with any of us or acknowledge the mere presence of peons such as us.
    Now Carl Hiaasen, that’s a different matter, no matter what you’re willing to admit to.

  10. Ya know, I’m not a fan of Kenny Chesney’s music. (I am a fan of his existence, though, because I once heard Vince Gill making fun of the Nashville accent by saying “Kinny Chiznee” and I realized that his name is just about perfect for that.) And I know little about him personally, except that Renée Zellweger was so embarrassed that she had married the scrawny little guy that she got an anullment instead of a divorce. But … just supposing … supposing the guy is straight, and isn’t homophobic, and doesn’t give a shit what people think about his sexuality on a personal level, but his management people have convinced him that his career will die if he is thought to be gay.* Isn’t this what he’d say? Not “oh I wouldn’t be gay because it’s evil and disgusting” (remember, we’re supposing here that he isn’t homophobic), but “well, I have to come up with some reason that it’s necessary for me to announce how heterosexual I am, so, uh, oh yeah, I’m all mad about it, but actually I’m just a guy who likes sex with women but (given my opportunities) doesn’t sleep around all that incredibly much.” I mean, this is so lame that it sounds completely tossed off like that.

    *It is a given among mainstream Nashville people that being known to be gay is the kiss of death to mainstream careers. I don’t know whether it’s true, but it is completely taken for granted.

  11. THANK GOD that SQ’s mom didn’t have that experience for real with Twitty because I was grieving here in Hoots.
    Man, there is only so much a newscoma can take and that was just wrong. (I guess you have to know SQ’s mom to know the wrongness of it all.)
    **relief sigh**

  12. nm’s prolly right (and usually is), but you’d think somebody with the boatloads of money and fans and his own private island and all would have the cojones to tell management, “Dudes, that’s gonna make me look stupid and tick people off. I know who and what I am, I am a proud Amurrican, I like to sing and run around on stage, and that’s that. Y’all shut up and go balance my checkbook for me.”

    But y’all. If I were he, I think I’d just say, “Looking at and listening to Renée Zellweger across the breakfast table for a fortnight was enough to send me screaming back into happy happy homosecksshulismality for the rest of my born days, and y’all can just gnaw the edges of my fabulous tightly clad East Tennessee buttocks if you don’t like it.”

    (Personal to SQ: I am not admitting NOTHING. And neither is Carly-Q. Heh. ~ cues Aerosmith ~)

  13. I wish, when he’s asked about it, he turns straight to the asker and says, “Hey, dude, sorry. I’ve got a girlfriend. But I’m sure there’s someone out there for you. Keep trying.”

  14. Yeah, well, grandefille, show me the successful mainstream act who’s secure enough to do that, and I’ll show you … no one, including the successful mainstream acts whose music I love. Part of the recipe for success at that level is always wanting more, a/k/a never being secure enough to think whatever they want to about you.

  15. OK..I admit, I’m a fan of KC’s music. It makes me happy..well some of it does.
    But, I’ve always thought he has been afflicted with “Little Man” syndrome. So he puffs up his chest(which used to be impressive) and squeals about the delights of 100 young ladies(I mean Renee has been by far THE oldest), who are probably very sexually inexperienced. I highly doubt any chick has asked for seconds-if indeed they got firsts. He seems more like the “service me” type.
    I need to also point out..he said he has SLEPT with 100…need I say more?
    Personally I think he swings both ways when the opportunity is there.

  16. “Hey, dude, sorry. I’ve got a girlfriend. But I’m sure there’s someone out there for you. Keep trying.”

    That would be so freaking awesome.

  17. That should be a standard adjusted-for-preference response to anybody who chooses not to partake of the delicacies that another human is offering.

    I mean, Lord, how hard is it to say what B. just said? Not very. And everybody goes away with a pleasant countenance.

    I think all people, not just celebrities, should embrace the Frank Langella (speaking of sex-ay) response:

    “It (his personal life) is just none of your business. And it’s none of the public’s business. What I owe the public is a great performance, and I hope and I give my absolute all to the public.”

  18. Since when is 100 impressive for a musician? Sounds like a loser to me. Hell, even Tesla banged more girls than that after every concert. When he hits 1,000 I’ll care.

  19. You need to get the Knoxville blogger/Blab crew in on this one. Kenny’s a Bearden High grad. I can’t think of anyone offhand that has ever said they knew him, but there’s a buttload of them among the bloggers and the Blabbers that were at Bearden at the same time he was or would have siblings around his age.

    100% of my high school schoolmates who turned out to be gay later in life were not a surprise to me, so I’m just sayin’.

    Only thing is I’m not sure anyone much ever knew him in HS. He was either in the same class or right behind my boyfriend (but same one I think) and my guy knew EVERYONE, and was surprised when I said, “Did you know Kenny Chesney went to school with you (or was in your class) at Bearden?”

    So I dunno. Maybe he was one of those guys that hid in a corner and never spoke, or something.

  20. Well…now that he’s said it…his 100th may be his last. Who wants sloppy 100ths? Or the combination of VD he may now have. Not me. I hope he has a good doctor with all that money he’s making.

  21. I just don’t think 100 is that many for a single person in his or her 40s. If you started having sex when you were 20, that’s just five people a year. Even if he hit 100 by the time he was 30, that’s just ten people a year. If he’s just having one night stands, that’s only ten times a year he’s even having sex. Not even once a month.

    I don’t know. It just doesn’t seem like an outrageous and surprising number to me. And I wouldn’t be put off having sex with a person who’s had sex with 100 people if he or she learned from those experiences and was a good lover.

    I’m just saying 100 seems like a very ordinary number of people. I want my music stars who are bragging about sexual excess to actually, you know, be excessive.

  22. It’s worse than merely ordinary. It’s clearly a made up number.

    There’s something reminiscent of Dr. Evil asking for ONE MILLION DOLLARS about it.

  23. *It is a given among mainstream Nashville people that being known to be gay is the kiss of death to mainstream careers. I don’t know whether it’s true, but it is completely taken for granted.

    Oh, I believe it’s true. Case in point: Ty Herndon

  24. never hurt Randy Travis or Colin Raye either…

    I could give a damn what someone who sings and makes music does behind closed doors. I love some Elton John & George Michael.

    That said, both have had major drug issues — and I could give a damn about that either. What I give a crap about is whether their music moves me. And it does.

    Chesney’s music — it doesn’t move me at all. Jimmy Buffet already did it. And did it better. WithOUT the puka shell necklace.

  25. ummm…er, Colin Raye? Really? That’s news to me.

    I have always said, and stand by my statement to this day: Colin should’ve been a superstar. As an entertainer, he rivaled Garth Brooks back in the day.

    Unfortunately for him, the industry just couldn’t get him there.

    hmmmm…now that you’ve dropped that bombshell about him, it makes me wonder if that’s why.

  26. Ginger, being caught soliciting a meth whore is a little bit different from just having boyfriends, so I’m not sure Herndon is a pure example. And I like to think that things may have changed since then, though again I have no information, just wishes. The truth is that no man in the mainstream Nashville music biz has tried being open about homosexuality, so we have no data.

    Also, I have seen a larger excerpt from that Chesney interview, and he actually said that he rhad been with a hundred women as of eight years ago, after his first five years of national touring. So clearly we lack current data about him as well.

  27. Ginger, being caught soliciting a meth whore is a little bit different from just having boyfriends, so I’m not sure Herndon is a pure example.

    Gosh, nm, I would have thought that the true story behind that “soliciting a meth whore” farce was common knowledge by now. Considering that I worked for his label at the time, I know for a fact that there was quite a bit of spin put out there about Ty. (Hell, what artist isn’t spun, right?) However, on the inside, everybody knew what the deal was, and I honestly think it made a difference in his lack of success — especially after the incident.

    Anyway, I’m referring to how the industry treats those who are known to be gay but not out to their fans. Of course there isn’t any data on an openly gay artist, because the only country artist that has successfully come out has been K.D. Lang (unless there is somebody else I’m forgetting), and she was always an outsider in Nashville, too.

  28. Oh my god, Ginger. Are you saying that they thought it was better for Herndon to claim he was out of his mind on drugs than just that he was gay?

    Well, when even the journalists who cover country music are too chickenshit to be out, I guess it’s not surprising that the conventional wisdom is that no star could be out and survive.

    But it’s a shame.

  29. Are you saying that they thought it was better for Herndon to claim he was out of his mind on drugs than just that he was gay?

    Hell, yeah, that’s what I’m saying. Don’t get me started on my soapbox about that topic! Ok, I can’t help myself: it’s just like the church: better to be a liar, cheater, and gossip than teh ghey. If you’re the former, you can still minister in their churches, if you’re the latter, you might be banished from the state!

    Well, when even the journalists who cover country music are too chickenshit to be out,…

    OMG, you just went there! How true!

    But it’s a shame.

    Yes, it is a crying shame!

  30. Ginger, no, evidently I’m not as in the loop as you. Was Herndon not really arrested for soliciting gay-sex-for-meth? And, if so, what even worse thing was going on that made the industry put that story out as a cover? The mind boggles.

    The reason I think it’s important to make the distinction between how the industry reacts to gay artists and how the fans react is this: the industry keeps gay artists in line by telling them that their fans would reject them if they were known to be gay. But what if that’s not true? What if the fans would be cool with it, and this was either industry insiders projecting their own discomfort onto a public that didn’t share it or a cynical way to keep control over potentially independent-minded artists?

  31. Wait a minute, whom are we calling a journalist? Because, B, if you mean who I think you mean, that’s hackwork, not journalism.

  32. Ha, y’all are simultaneously commenting! So, to address both comments, okay, wow. Better for Herndon to be a desperate meth user than gay. And, yes, nm, I’m sure it’s because industry folks are projecting their own discomfort (especially the folks who are in the closet themselves because they just couldn’t bear to face the possibility that they didn’t have to live that way).

  33. Ok, nm…I misunderstood you…yes, it was “gay sex for meth” but when you said “meth whore” and didn’t mention the gay thing at first, I thought you were under the impression that he was only doing a drug deal only. We’re on the same page after all!

    As for the hackwork…I totally know how you are referring to and I couldn’t agree more.

  34. OK, so if that’s the story with Herndon, I just meant that someone who’s so deep in the closet and so desperate that the only way he knows to get laid is to go out and pay for it anonymously is not the same as a gay adult in a stable, loving relationship who might want to come out. Everyone is going to feel a little icked out by the former (even though everyone would have a different subset of the behavior that they found icky), but I suspect that most (not all) of the fans might be more comfortable with the latter than “the industry” believes.

  35. I suspect that most (not all) of the fans might be more comfortable with the latter than “the industry” believes.

    I suspect so as well. TheBoyfriend™ was still teaching at the troubled kids school when the (apparently false) news came out that NeYo was gay. I’d expect the hip-hop community to be less accepting than perhaps any other musical genre (other than perhaps CCM, gospel or something of that nature), yet the reaction among his students was largely a resounding “enh.”

  36. … yet the reaction among his students was largely a resounding “enh.”

    I wonder if because the “younger generation” (them younguns nowadays!) defines its sexuality so fluidly, it’s more tolerant in its response to others’ personal lives. I’d like to think so.

    Yeah, well, I resent the use of the word “journalist” in that context, is all.

    If I could only TELL y’all how we used to refer to that individual in the newsroom. LORDY.

    Ha, “journalist” is like “feminist.” Any fool can call themselves one.

    Hey, I resemble all three of those remarks, thankyewverrahmuch.

  37. I wonder if because the “younger generation” (them younguns nowadays!) defines its sexuality so fluidly, it’s more tolerant in its response to others’ personal lives. I’d like to think so.

    I think that’s undoubtedly true, but I think ( I don’t really follow country music) that Kenny Chesney appeals to the younger generation of country music listeners more so than the older generation. Of course at issue is “the industry’s” opinion, so it could be that that generation simply needs a few more years to get a solid foothold in leadership positions within the industry.

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