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Kenny Chesney Writes Theme Song for New ESPN Series ‘Rise Up’

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Mike Coppola, Getty Images

Kenny Chesney is once again indulging his love of sports, this time fusing his passion for athletics with his ability to write music. Chesney has written the theme song for ‘Rise Up,’ a new high school makeover show commissioned by ESPN. The song is acoustic and, like the series, titled ‘Rise Up.’

This isn’t Chesney’s first time at the ESPN rodeo. The University of Tennessee fan dabbled in football and baseball in high school and produced and co-directed the documentary ‘The Color Orange’ about his childhood idol Condredge Holloway, a University of Tennessee quarterback . The singer also produced ‘The Boys of Fall,’ a doc about how high school football shapes young men and their communities.  Clearly, sports are in Chesney’s DNA, so it’s a logical fit for him to have penned a song that fuses two things he loves most.

Executive producer Joan Lynch told the Hollywood Reporter that it’s the first time Chesney has been asked to compose a song for television and that once he saw an episode, he was so moved that the music literally poured out of him. Lynch said, “He said to me, ‘Joan, this is the hardest thing I’ve done.’ And then he watched the [New Orleans episode of 'Rise Up'] and he wrote the song in two hours. I couldn’t believe it when he emailed me the lyrics.”

A little more info about the show: The series will be hosted by ESPN college football analyst Chris Spielman and DIY television personality Deanne Bell of PBS’ ‘Design Squad,’ and it will follow ailing high school athletic facilities as they are given makeovers. In a day and age when athletics programs are becoming lower priority to schools, the show shines a spotlight on schools in need, like Josh Turner did with his recent benefit show.

ESPN is currently in production on new installments in Boston, Seattle, Chicago and Wellston, Ohio, while executives hope to expand the series to six yearly installments in 2012.

The first episode of the series is set to air on September 13 at 7PM. It features Wellston High School as the made over school.

Watch the Kenny Chesney ‘The Boys of Fall’ Video

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