On May 15th, EPE sent out this message to Elvis Insider members, "Vote for Kenny Elvis has had an amazing influence on artists in loads of different genres. One huge fan and disciple of Elvis's sound and influence is Kenny Chesney. We appreciate the connection with Kenny Chesney as a friend and supporter and we would like to encourage all of the Elvis fans to get out and VOTE for Kenny as the Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year."
Aside from Kenny Chesney's amazing talent, it is unclear WHY EPE would encourage fans to vote for one particular artist. Anyway, Kenny took home the Entertainer Of The Year award at the 43rd Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards. The awards show aired live from the MGM hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sunday night.
This was Kenny's fourth consecutive year as Entertainer of the Year. Alabama is the only other act to have out beat him with 5 wins. This year was the first time that fans selected the award, which elicited a mixed reaction from Chesney.
"This one is really extra special because long before I had a hit record, the fans always came to the shows. I want to thank you guys for voting and for being there for me," he said at the podium.
But once backstage, the 40-year-old Tennessee native knocked organizers for allowing fans, rather than members of the ACM, to choose. "It really diminishes the integrity of the music," said Chesney.
"The entertainer of the year trophy is supposed to represent heart and passion and an amazing amount of sacrifice, commitment and focus," he said. "That's the way Garth won it four times, that's the way I won it, that's the way (George) Strait won it, Reba (McEntire), Alabama all those years. That's what it's supposed to represent."
He said his complaint is directed at the industry, not the fans � and that the method amounted to "complete disrespect" of the artists, saying the academy turned the award "into a sweepstakes to see who can push people's buttons the hardest on the Internet."
Posted: 20th. May 2008