Kenny Chesney is paying homage to his late dog through song.
Chesney had previously written a song, “Da Ruba Girl,” about his beloved dog, a pit bull named Ruby, that has played on his SiriusXM station, No Shoes Radio, for years. Due to popular demand, Chesney has officially released the song in the wake of Ruby’s passing on Sunday (Dec. 4) from cancer. Ruby was a rescue dog found by Chesney’s friend Mary. Chesney released the song on Friday (Dec. 9).
The upbeat song features a bright melody of acoustic guitar and soft drums as Chesney gently sings, You needed her / She needed you / To hold, to help fill a space / Last in line / Last cage at the rescue / Was a love that no one could replace / Lying there like a lost string of pearls / Was Da Ruba Girl.
To honor Ruby’s life, Chesney is donating all of the proceeds from the song to Stray Rescue of St. Louis, which takes in animals that other shelters can’t keep because they are too expensive to care for. The shelter is one of the largest pit bull rescue shelters in the U.S., according to a press release.
“They find the dogs people abandon and throw away, who may have been abused or just left somewhere and they heal them, then find them homes where all that love they have can be returned,” Chesney tells People why he chose Stray Rescue of St. Louis as the beneficiary. He also worked with the organization to help animals on the Virgin Islands after they were devastated by Hurricane Irma in 2018.
“Ruby lived her life never holding anything against anybody,” Chesney writes in a reflective Instagram post. “She had an ancient, calming soul. She was honest and authentic, she was a protector, she took a warrior’s path in the journey of her life. So bye-bye, Ruby. You were a very good girl. We loved you and thank you for teaching us how to love unconditionally. You were one heaven of a dog.”
The singer concluded the post by quoting a line in the song, she’ll be known all over the world / As Da Ruba Girl.
Hours after the song was released, it hit No. 1 on the iTunes chart.
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for CMT