Calling in to speak with RADIO.COM’s Katie Neal for the Superstar Power Hour, Chesney dug deep into his motivation for recording the good-vibes-only anthem — which is now sitting at Number Two on Billboard’s Country Airplay radio chart. The icon is famously one of the biggest live acts in country history, with a knack for filling stadiums to the brim and promoting a sense of connection between fans in his No Shoes Nation. But the pandemic changed all that.
We’re nearly a year in to the COVID-19 crisis now, but Chesney explains that when he released “Happy Does” in April of 2020, it felt like people had no choice but to live through their social-media feeds. He figures it’s all designed to make us feel more connected, but we’re actually getting farther apart.
“I think my wheelhouse is talking about things that obviously make people happy,” he explains of the song. “But I feel like in our everyday life right now, we live our everyday lives, it seems, watching other people live their lives and trapped within our devices. When I first heard ‘Happy Does,’ I literally had two devices within a hand’s reach of me… multitasking.”
Chesney goes on to say it’s interesting that we call things like Twitter and Facebook “social media,” because it makes people antisocial. But “Happy Does” presents an alternative.
“This song, for me, is a reminder to myself to try to live in the moment, try to breathe in and breathe out, and remember that there’s a whole big world out there outside of your phone,” he says. “And I thought that somebody else might need to hear it, too.”
“Happy is as happy does / Grab a six -tring, find a rope swing / Hang a palm tree in your truck / Drink a beer just because / Steal a slow dance in a rain storm / And a kiss from who you love / Laugh and live with a half-full cup / Yeah, happy is as happy does,” goes the smiling hook.
Chesney went on to talk about things like his gardening green thumb, pre-show and after-show rituals and the music he’s been listening to — and also revealed that even superstars get star struck. Check it out to learn what happens when Kenny Chesney and Kevin Costner find themselves in the same room.