Kenny Chesney continues to prove he’s a touring giant as he’s named Billboard‘s No. 1 country tour for 2022.
Chesney’s Here and Now Tour grossed north of $135 million. Throughout the trek, he played for 1.3 million fans across 41 shows, including 21 stadiums, making him the most popular touring country artist of the year. Here and Now marked his first trek since 2018’s Trip Around the Sun Tour, which Billboard reports also drew in 1.3 million people and $114 million.
The Here and Now Tour went through multiple iterations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was originally called the Chillaxification Tour, which was supposed to set sail in 2020 with Florida Georgia Line, Old Dominion and Michael Franti & Spearhead as the opening acts, but was rescheduled to 2021 due to the pandemic. However, as a result of the surge in COVID-19 cases in 2021, Chesney moved the tour to 2022 and renamed it the Here and Now Tour after his album of the same name, bringing Dan + Shay, Carly Pearce and Old Dominion with him.
“You don’t think about this stuff, just the way it feels to be back out there with the fans!” Chesney reflects in a press statement. “As good as No Shoes Nation is, and they’re the best, this year they took that heart and passion and brought it up six levels. Suddenly, me and my team were looking for ways to open up seats, move the stage back, create cleaner sight lines, so we could get every single person who wanted to be there into the venues.”
Chesney also landed at No. 9 on the total list of year-end top tours alongside superstars Bad Bunny, The Rolling Stones, Harry Styles and more. Morgan Wallen, Chris Stapleton, George Strait and Reba McEntire were among the other top touring country acts of the year.
Chesney is ready to get back on the road, as he’s announced the 2023 I Go Back Tour with “Half of My Hometown” duet partner Kelsea Ballerini joining as the opening act. The tour kicks off on March 25 in State College, Pennsylvania.
Photo Credit: Jill Trunnell / Courtesy of Essential Broadcast Media