Only on PEOPLE.com: Behind the Scenes with Kenny Chesney
Despite the early morning wake-up call, Kenny Chesney hits the stage with a smile on Tuesday at Today in New York's Rockefeller Center, the same day his latest album, The Big Revival, was released.
There it is! Chesney makes his message clear during warm-ups. "I wanted to take my audience to a different place," he told the Today crew after his performance. "You get to a point in your career, in your life, where you want to say something a little different."
Snap! The singer happily obliges a fan with one very snuggly selfie. "I wanted to push my audience … without alienating them," Chesney said of the record. "That's why I took my time. I didn't do anything other than make a record. I'm glad I did that; my life needed it, I needed it and it was fun."
One more mic check, then we're live! "Music has always been a big part of my life," the star said. "I think it's human nature to let music do what it does to you in your soul. If I want to feel happy, music can make me feel happy. If I really want to feel sad, music can make me feel sad. If I just want to escape, music does that to me. I think that's the way it is for a lot of people."
Chesney makes a new friend during his time at 30 Rock – the Rock Center security dog!
TIME TO SHINE
The fan favorite gets the crowd going as the cameras roll at 8:30 a.m.
THAT'S A WRAP!
Chesney finishes his outdoor appearance with a chat with Today's Matt Lauer and Hoda Kotb (a big country fan). "For me, music was a dream and a highway to go down," the singer said. "When I was in college and didn't really know what I wanted to do, music was always there. It is medicine and it's a lot of other things for me."