Kenny Chesney Reveals He Drunk-Dialed Lionel Richie Asking to Sing on ‘Tuskegee’
You may know that Kenny Chesney makes an appearance with a host of country stars on Lionel Richie’s ‘Tuskegee‘ new country duets record, but do you know exactly how the ‘You and Tequila’ singer actually landed his spot on the album? While the two stars are good friends who each seem to really respect one another’s work, this collaboration actually began with a drunk dial.
Chesney told the Associated Press that he knew he wanted to sing on Richie’s album, and he even knew which song he wanted to claim. So, he did what any sane person would do: He drank a couple bottles of wine and called up the superstar to let him know.
“I just decided that I was going to call Lionel and tell him I wanted to sing on his record,” Kenny remembers (quote via The Boot). “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.” And Richie didn’t soon forget this moment.
Impersonating Chesney in an interview with the Country Vibe, Richie recounts: ”‘Lionel! Oh my God, Lionel! Oh my God, oh my God! My Love … [singing] My looove, just thinkin’ about … Oh Lionel, I love you. I love you Lionel, I love you!’” He also remembers the next morning when Chesney called to say, “I’m sorry I drunk dialed you, but I had to tell you how much I love you.” Richie remembers assuring him by saying, “I know how much you love me, Kenny.”
Whether it was the wine or the message or the ongoing friendship between the two, Chesney did get his wish, snagging the chance to sing ‘My Love’ on the new record. The original song, which featured the voice of another country Kenny — Kenny Rogers — in the background, landed in the Top 5 on the 1983 pop chart. Rogers also makes an appearance on ‘Tuskegee,’ singing ‘Lady,’ a 1980s pop hit that Richie penned for him more than 30 years ago.