OFFSTAGE: Kenny Chesney Sings a Voicemail to Lionel Richie

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

I didn’t know whether to believe Lionel Richie or not. On the recent CMT Presents: Lionel Richie Tuskegee special, Richie tells the story about how he hooked up with Kenny Chesney to do a duet of his 1983 hit “My Love.” He says he told the country singer he could do any song he liked, and Chesney called him back at 1 a.m. “And this is the message I get the next morning: Lionel, I’m singing ’My Love.’ I’m singing ’My Love.’ My love, just thinkin’ about you baby just blows my mind. Lionel, I love that song. I love you. I love you, Lionel. I love that song.” That didn’t sound like Chesney to me. But then in a newspaper article this week, I found corroboration for the story about that voicemail . Late one night, Chesney did in fact decide to call Richie with his song choice. “It was a pretty spirited voicemail, I can tell you that, because I actually sang the verse and like half of the song of `My Love’ onto his voicemail,” he explained. Chesney also revealed that he put Richie’s “Penny Lover” on a mix tape he used to win a girl’s heart in high school.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.