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Kenny Chesney Rises Up to Write Theme for ESPN Show

Rick Diamond, Getty Images

It will be Kenny Chesney‘s voice that you hear at the beginning of every episode of ESPN’s new series, ‘Rise Up.’ The country superstar has written the theme song for the show, which awards makeovers to needy and often dilapidated high school athletic facilities across the country. The show is currently in production at schools in Boston, Seattle, Chicago, and Wellston, Ohio, and will premiere September 13, according to Billboard.com. Though he reportedly found writing for TV challenging at first, Kenny wrote the new acoustic theme song, ‘Rise Up,’ in just two hours after being inspired by the series’ pilot, which aired last fall and was set at New Orleans’ McMain Secondary High School.

The show highlights schools in underserved areas that are in bad need of improvements to their athletic facilities, and each hour will include the surprise announcement at the school that it has been chosen, and a reveal of the beautiful, new facilities. In the same vein as ‘Extreme Home Makeover,’ local businesses will be recruited to donate materials and labor so that the projects are a community effort, and coaches and professional athletes like Pete Carroll, Eddie George and Wes Welker will make appearances in episodes of the show.

Kenny is no stranger to ESPN. He co-produced and directed the network’s ‘The Color Orange,’ a documentary about Condredge Holloway, a 1970s University of Tennessee quarterback who was the first African-American to start in the position in the SEC. He also produced ‘The Boys of Fall,’ a documentary exploring the benefits and emotional inspiration football provides for young men growing up. A former high school football and baseball player himself, Kenny seems to find lots of inspiration for his music from his love of sports, and ‘Rise Up’ will be the latest manifestation of that. The show will be hosted by ESPN football analyst Chris Spielman and DIY TV personality Deanne Bell.

Meanwhile, back on the touring trail, Kenny continues to burn up the road with his Goin’ Coastal Tour. He’s already sold 1.1 million tickets so far this year, selling out 27 shows, including five stadium shows, and is the top country act on Pollstar’s list of gross revenue for North American Tours at 46.7 million. On August 13, he visits New Jersey’s New Meadowlands Stadium and as of last week had already sold more than 44,000 tickets according to Salon.com, making him the hottest single-paid country show in the New York/New Jersey area since Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard and Linda Ronstadt drew more than 51,000 in 1983.

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