How Kenny Chesney Responded When Taylor Swift Said He Helped ‘Fuel’ Her Dreams

Taylor Swift and Kenny Chesney perform at the Bridgestone Arena on September 17, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee.

When Kenny Chesney found out that Taylor Swift credited him with giving her career an important boost years ago despite a snag that prevented her from joining him on a major tour, the country music star said he was “stunned.”

The “Cruel Summer” singer mentioned Chesney as she was being interviewed for Time’s Person of the Year interview last year. His name was mentioned early in the profile as Swift recalled how an opportunity to open for Chesney on tour “was going to change my career” until she learned the tour was sponsored by a beer company. Swift, who was 17 at the time, was suddenly unable to go because of her age.

Swift then explained that Chesney sent her a check months later in celebration of her 18th birthday—a check that helped her to afford tour buses and made her “able to fuel my dreams.”

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“I texted her and told her thank you for the love, and I was stunned she remembered it,” Chesney, 55, told USA Today when asked about his reaction to learning about the anecdote Swift had shared in the profile. The “When the Sun Goes Down” singer, who is preparing for the March 22 release of his new album, then praised Swift’s “creative soul” and added, “it is unbelievable what she has become.”

While Chesney acknowledged the success Swift has found through big performances onstage, he said she is “at heart a songwriter.” That ability is something he said he noticed years ago after first meeting Swift, though he admitted he “didn’t know it would turn into this.”

Chesney has been a big supporter of Swift’s throughout her career. When Time announced that she would be the magazine’s 2023 Person of the Year, he shared a couple of throwback photos of Swift on Instagram and wrote that he “knew looking in your eyes that first time on stage with us, you had ‘it.’”

“The hunger, that something special… A gift not everyone has to connect,” his Dec. 6, 2023 Instagram caption said. "It’s been awesome watching you shine!”

Chesney also reiterated his admiration for Swift and belief that she is “one of the best songwriters on the planet” during a recent interview on The Pat McAfee Show.

“She really has a creative soul that comes from somewhere,” Chesney told show host Pat McAfee.

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