Kenny Chesney has a not-so-subtle message to other country artists: Shut up about cutoff jeans and bikini tops, already.
“In the last several years, a lot of the songs about women have been written in kind of an objectifying way,” the country megastar told radio.com. “If you didn’t wear cutoff jeans or a bikini top, or sit on a tailgate and drink, then you really weren’t worthy, you didn’t really add up.”
A new track on Chesney’s upcoming release, which drops Sept. 23, is for all the ladies who don’t fit country music’s backwards stereotypes.
“‘Wild Child’ is telling some girl out there that’s got dreams, that’s a free spirit, who’s smart and interesting, that she has a chance,” he said. “That she is worthy.”
The song is an ode to the women Chesney said he finds most appealing: the ones who don’t fit any stereotypes at all.
“All the women that have been in my life — in my family or that I chased, fell in love with and out of love with, my island friends, my hippie New England friends — they all had this idea of the ‘wild child’ in them, and I thought about all of them when I was writing the song,” he said. “I think it’s an important song, because it’s saying that they don’t have to be this one thing that’s been sung about over and over again recently. And I’m proud of that, that we wrote a song that lifts up a woman in that way.”
And that’s not the only thing about Chesney’s newest album that’s breaking free of country music stereotypes.
“This album ain’t about a party,” he said. “It’s about living with passion, about confidence, about walking into a room full of people and smiling and meaning it. Having the courage to hear this voice in your head and follow it, maybe for the first time in your life. It’s about taking your life and living it to the fullest.”