HomeEntertainmentMusicCountry Throwback: Kenny Chesney Pays Tribute to George Jones With ‘Tennessee Whiskey’ Performance

Country Throwback: Kenny Chesney Pays Tribute to George Jones With ‘Tennessee Whiskey’ Performance

by Matthew Wilson
Photo credit: Andrew Lipovsky/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

In this country throwback, Kenny Chesney honored country legend George Jones with a rendition of “Tennessee Whiskey.” Chesney performed at PBS special honoring Jones in 2004. Alan Jackson, Vince Gill and Martina McBride were among other performances.

Wearing a black cowboy hat, Chesney channeled Jones with a soft, soothing voice. Jones made a career singing honky-tonk ballads that were equal parts soulful and heart-wrenching. David Allan Coe originally recorded “Tennessee Whiskey” in 1981, but Jones made the song his own with a 1983 cover. In 2015, singer Chris Stapleton released a version that proved instantly popular.

Commenters on YouTube praised Chesney’s rendition of the song. “What a great Version of this beautiful Song. Kenny sings it really great,” one user wrote. In another instance, “Great song, good singing. I can’t get this song out of my head since I heard it. I do like Kenny Chesney style, very captivating.”

Several users paid tribute to Jones and his legacy. Jones passed away in 2013 at the age of 81. One user wrote, “A tribute to a Great Legend.” And another said, “Respect for George. RIP, George.”

Kenny Chesney performed several duets with George Jones

According to Country Countdown USA, Jones became a mentor for Chesney early in his career. Chesney would open shows for the country music later and even recorded several duets with Jones. One duet “Small Y’All” featured on Chesney’s Hemmingway’s Whiskey album. The two also performed at each other’s birthday parties.

When Jones passed away in 2013, Chesney was one of several performers who honored his passing at the Grand Ole Opry.

“George Jones was always there in my life. He meant so much to so many,” Chesney said. “George was my friend. George was in my grandmother’s kitchen when I was a kid. I lived with her and my mom when my stepfather was in Vietnam. The very first song I heard George sing was ‘Who’s Gonna Chop My Baby’s Kindlin’ When I’m Gone.’  He was always this larger than life figure that I thought I’d never meet, much less become friends with, or have in many ways as a father figure in my life.”

[H/T: Whiskey Riff]