Kenny Chesney Reveals Peyton Manning Used To Join Him On Tour

The Rich Eisen Show / YouTube & Kenny Chesney / Facebook

Peyton Manning, now known as a big country music fan, has admitted that his taste for the genre wasn’t always there.

Over the years, Peyton Manning has been involved in various country music endeavors, such as his two-year co-hosting gig at the CMA Awards with Luke Bryan and his surprise performance with Parker McCollum for “Red Dirt Road.”

But growing up in New Orleans, Manning wasn’t actually very big into the country tunes. It wasn’t until he went to college at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville that he started listening to it more.

That was when he started getting more into the country music scene, mingling with big names like Kenny Chesney. Turns out, Manning and Chesney have been close friends for over 25 years.

Manning shared during an interview with Luke Combs on Apple Music’s podcast, Bootleggers Radio, that they first hit it off at a University of Tennessee football game in the mid-90s. Chesney was performing at the event, and they apparently clicked instantly.

“Met Kenny on the sidelines of a Tennessee-Alabama game. Kenny was a diehard Tennessee fan growing up in the East Tennessee Knoxville area. [He] played the National Anthem, sang “Me and You” at halftime, and hung out on the sidelines for the game. And he was into it. He wasn’t just thinking it was cool to be on the sidelines. He was into the game and you felt that.”

Manning’s “Touring” Experience

Back when Manning was between his rookie and sophomore seasons with the Colts, he even went on tour with Chesney.

On a recent appearance on The Rich Eisen Show, Chesney revealed that Manning used to join him and his band on weekend gigs.

“There was two summers where Peyton…he literally went out on tour with us and on the bus for, like, a couple weekends.”

“We would have one extra guy on stage. He would be up there with a guitar. The audience would be looking around, thinking, ‘That guy looks familiar.’ Then I would introduce him as Peyton Manning, and people would go crazy.”

While Manning’s appearance on stage was a memorable moment for the audience, Chesney admits that Manning wasn’t exactly convincing as a guitar player in the band.

“He wasn’t even plugged in. Like he had a guitar over his shoulder, you know? It was all in good fun, but he wasn’t even plugged in. He wouldn’t even change chords, he couldn’t even fake it. You have to change chords during the song, Peyton would stay in the same spot the whole time. Everybody knew he wasn’t plugged in.”


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Manning Joins Chesney’s Concert

Back in June 2003, Kenny Chesney hit a major milestone in his career by headlining his first-ever stadium concert. With nearly 62,000 fans filling Neyland Stadium, he marked the occasion by inviting some of the biggest names in country music to open for him that night, including Brooks & Dunn and Keith Urban.

A particularly fitting and interesting addition to the superstar’s lineup that night was the then 35-year-old Peyton Manning, who had played college football at the University of Tennessee, the very stadium hosting the concert.

The football star made an appearance during Chesney’s performance of “Back Where I Come From,” from his 1996 album Me And You. Although never released as a single, the track remained popular among Chesney’s fans and earned a gold certification from the RIAA in 2018.

“I apologize to all the fans that had to hear me sing ‘Back Where I Come From,’ as opposed to letting Kenny sing it,” he joked during the same interview with Luke Combs on Bootleggers Radio. “But Kenny liked bringing me out there, and believe it or not, Luke, back in the pre-social media era, he actually put a guitar on me and put me in with the band. He put me in G. I don’t know what G really is, but I get in G and just stay at it. And played the whole show.”

RELATED: Kenny Chesney & Peyton Manning Thrill Crowd With Epic ‘Back Where I Come From’

It was certainly a significant moment for Kenny Chesney and a special one for country music fans.

Watch Chesney and Manning on stage together below.

A Mutual Friendship And Support

Chesney and Manning have consistently supported each other throughout their respective careers, both on stage and in the sports arena.

While Manning has always been there for Chesney in his musical pursuits, Chesney has also been there for Manning throughout his legendary football career.

Check out some photos of Chesney cheering on Manning below.