Remember When Kenny Chesney Sang With John Mellencamp?
Kenny Chesney got to perform onstage with one of his own musical idols when he teamed up with John Mellencamp in 2003.
The superstar pair got together on Aug. 6, 2003, to tape an episode of CMT Crossroads, which pairs country stars with artists from other genres. Chesney was a huge fan, and he recalled first seeing Mellencamp on television more than 20 years prior during a performance on the American Music Awards.
"This guy is standing up there … white T-shirt on and blue jeans,” he told CMT. "They were, like, rolled up at the bottom, and he had penny loafers on. He was singing this song called ‘Ain’t Even Done With the Night.’ I didn’t know who he was. I just knew I liked it."
In fact, Chesney used to pay homage to Mellencamp by closing his shows with "Jack and Diane," a No. 1 hit from 1982's American Fool album. He got the chance to perform it live with Mellencamp on the broadcast, which aired on Oct. 3, 2003. The pair also collaborated on “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.,” “Young" and more.
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For Mellencamp, it was a chance to re-imagine some of his own songs in new arrangements.
“The hardest thing when you’re doing so many shows on the road is staying focused. Having a vision and staying connected to it … it’s hard to do when you do that many shows. Particularly when you’re singing songs, like in my case, that are 20 years old, 25 years old, and I’ve sung them a zillion times," he noted. "How do you stay focused? Tonight, we’re doing ‘Small Town’ and it’s a ballad version of the song. It’s totally different. It’s almost like a soul ballad, the way we do it.”
Take a look at Chesney and Mellencamp performing "Back Where I Come From" in the clip above. Chesney cut the studio version for his Me and You album in 1996.