Kenny Chesney: Country Music Should Be More Than Babes in Bikinis
09/11/2014 AT 09:40 PM EDT
"In the last several years, a lot of the songs about women have been written in kind of an objectifying way," he says in a new interview with radio.com. "If you didn't wear cut-off jeans or a bikini top, or sit on a tailgate and drink, then you really weren't worthy, you didn't really add up."
In response, the country superstar is including a heartfelt and respectful love letter to women in a song called "Wild Child" on his latest record, The Big Revival, which drops Sept. 23.
"'Wild Child' is telling some girl out there that's got dreams, that's a free spirit, who's smart and interesting, that she has a chance," he says. "That she is worthy."
Chesney, 46, says he wanted to honor all the women who don't fit that cut-offs and bikini babe stereotype because they're exactly the women he finds most appealing.
"All the women that have been in my life – in my family or that I chased, fell in love with and out of love with, my island friends, my hippie New England friends – they all had this idea of the 'wild child' in them, and I thought about all of them when I was writing the song."
He continues, "I think it's an important song, because it's saying that they don't have to be this one thing that's been sung about over and over again recently. And I'm proud of that, that we wrote a song that lifts up a woman in that way."
Chesney says the cut is part of the theme of the new record, a more spiritual dive that's a result of his own maturing as an artist and a person.
"This album ain't about a party," he says. "It's about living with passion, about confidence, about walking into a room full of people and smiling and meaning it. Having the courage to hear this voice in your head and follow it, maybe for the first time in your life. It's about taking your life and living it to the fullest."