Kenny's Private World

Kenny Chesney leans back against the downy white pillows on the window
seat in his upstairs bedroom as a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean
stretches out behind him. "I love the sunsets," Chesney says of his
Malibu property, which is nestled high in the canyon hills within sight
of Catalina Island. "The view is amazing, and I just love being able to
sit out here and watch the sun and the ocean."

It's the kind of relaxing, peaceful pause that the hardest
working man in country music rarely affords himself. Famous for his
take-no-prisoners touring schedule—he is one of the top ticket-sellers
in the U.S., having played for more than one million fans each year
since 2001—Chesney, 40, has found a sense of renewal in Malibu. Unlike
the Caribbean, where he also owns property, California doubles as both
a private retreat and a music haven with historic roots. "This is just
such a creative place to be," says the reigning CMA and ACM Entertainer
of the Year. "You can feel it out here—you think about the music that's
come out of these canyons, this stretch of ocean highway: Buffalo
Springfield, Jackson Browne, the Eagles, Joni Mitchell, Van Halen...You
get a sense of how vast it is and you get inspired."

Energized by his time there, Chesney seems more eager than
ever to do what he loves most. After a successful summer and fall he is
already working on his new show, which will kick off rehearsals in
February. As for his next album, "every morning, I'll pull my guitar
out and see if she talks to me," he says. "I'm working on some new

But it's not all work. Chesney also has hosted visitors in
Malibu, including girlfriend Amy Colley, 24, a Nashville-based
burn-unit nurse who is a former Miss Tennessee U.S.A. "She's very
smart," says Chesney. "She has her own life and she's very comfortable
in her own skin. That helps." And he is making the most of California
living, grilling in his outdoor kitchen and regularly biking 25 miles
up the Pacific Coast Highway. "For the first time in a really long
time, I went to the grocery store," he says of the privacy Malibu
affords its celebrities. A sushi lover, Chesney is also keen on another
Malibu tradition: dining at hot spot Nobu. In late 2008, Chesney came
into the restaurant with pals and spotted U2 guitarist the Edge.
Chesney, a huge fan, didn't want to bother the rocker but left him a
note instead. The next time Chesney came into Nobu, there was a note
waiting for him from the Edge offering praise for Chesney's "luminous"

And yet Chesney rarely settles in one place for any length of
time. In fact, although he only bought the $7.5 million Malibu home in
2008, he already has plans underway to sell the estate and rent a home
down the beach. "Out here, I can hang with people who understand my
life, who have that kind of life," he says. "And I have a lot of
friends here."

Those friends include Eagles alum Joe Walsh, rocker Eddie Van Halen, music producer Rick Rubin and Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria Parker, who popped in for a barbecue last fall. He is also close with CSI: Miami
star Emily Procter, his pal and—get this—official decorator. (She
helped style his home in the U.S. Virgin Islands, too.) "Kenny is a
sensualist," says Procter, 40. "He likes to have luxury that is
comfortable and not too stiff."

With that in mind, Procter calls her theme for Chesney's
Malibu spread "Nassau meets Nashville," with its English Colonial feel
of white against dark wood. "He likes dark wood and yet he wants it
beachy," she says of his taste. He also likes his flat-screen TVs—the
more, the better, including a retractable screen at the foot of his
massive mahogany bed and one he can watch from his bathtub. "You can
literally watch TV from just about anywhere in the house," says
Procter. "Anyone who knows him well knows he really likes watching
football with his friends. He loves being social and entertaining."

Still, Chesney never stays away from his first love—performing
and writing music—for long. After his February Grammy performance he'll
gear up for his summer tour, leaving the quiet Malibu lifestyle behind,
for a while, anyway. "Music has marked every major event in my life. It
still marks where I am, what I'm doing," he says. "It makes every
moment more. I don't know if I can be that for other people, but if you
ask me what all this is about...at the end of the day, that would be

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