Chesney Talks About “Big Star” on MWL Star

Stardom seldom occurs overnight, but Kenny Chesney saw it happen faster than that when he filmed his new video. In fact, it only took actress Penelope Cordova a few hours to make the transition between a small stage and an arena filled with some of Chesney’s most devoted fans.

Chesney talks about the video for his new single, “Big Star,” during the first episode of the new series, MWL Star. Chesney also performs “I Can’t Go There” when the weekly live-to-tape audience series premieres Monday (Jan. 13) at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Chesney is featured in the “Big Star” video, but it’s Cordova who assumes the superstar stance. “I think she was horrified because she didn’t speak English very well,” Chesney tells MWL Star host Katie Cook. “She was a really sweet girl, and she got up in front of probably 18,000 or 19,000 people in Louisville, Ky., one night and pretended to be a star.

“It was the shortest trip to stardom that I’ve ever seen because earlier in the day she was singing at a karaoke bar and just in a couple of hours she went through all those steps. She went from that karaoke bar to doing the meet-and-greets and visiting with fans and signing autographs after the show and physically being on stage in front of close to 20,000 people.”

Written by Stephony Smith, “Big Star” is featured on Chesney’s double-platinum album No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems. Chesney says, “It’s always been one of my favorite songs on the record, just because of the message. It’s about a dreamer. I’m a dreamer and I’ve got a lot of friends that are dreamers.

“One thing I love … is that the girl in this song goes through all the steps and she works her butt off to achiever her success. And the moment she does, people start to discount it and they start to say that, you know, she wasn’t really any good and that she slept her way to the top. They’re not taking into account that she went through a lot of roller coaster rides emotionally and wrote a lot of songs and really worked on her craft. I’ve got a lot of friends in this business that did that.

“I just think that song is very powerful because it definitely shows that dreams can come true. You’ve just gotta work very hard for it and have fun with and be passionate about it. And not ever — I mean not ever — let anybody tell you that you can’t do anything. I think that’s why this song is so powerful to me because I had to believe in myself to get where I am today.”

Calvin Gilbert has served as CMT.com’s managing editor since 2002. His background includes stints at the Nashville Banner, Radio & Records and Westwood One.