Kenny Chesney Takes a 'Late Night Birthday Plane Ride' with Kelsea Ballerini and Pals as He Turns 55

The 12-time CMA-Award winner kicked off his I Wanna Go Back tour on Thursday, with Ballerini as his opening act

Kenny Chesney Takes a 'Late Night Birthday Plane Ride' With Kelsea Ballerini
Kelsea Ballerini, Kenny Chesney and friends celebrate. Photo: Kenny Chesney/Instagram

Kenny Chesney rang in his 55th year in style over the weekend.

The country singer — who is currently on tour with fellow country star Kelsea Ballerini — celebrated his big day with the "Heartfirst" songstress and friends on a private plane, sharing a picture of the party on Instagram Sunday.

"One fun, late night birthday plane ride after our State College, Pennsylvania show with @KelseaBallerini," Chesney captioned the pic. "What a tour!"

He also shouted out his drummer, Nick Buda, who was also marking another trip around the sun. "Love ya man!!" Chesney wrote of his band member.

Earlier on Sunday, Chesney shared a video from his Saturday night show at Penn State University's Bryce Jordan Center where the arena erupted in song to wish him a happy birthday.

"I'd be a bad friend if I didn't ask all of you at this sold-out show on a Saturday night at Penn State to sing happy birthday," Ballerini, 29, said in the video Chesney shared, before leading the crowd of over 15,000 in a rendition of "Happy Birthday" in honor of the acclaimed country singer.

"Thank you, @KelseaBallerini and State College, PA, for the birthday song," he wrote alongside the video. "What a night."

Kenny Chesney performs with surprise guest Kelsea Ballerini at Nissan Stadium on May 28, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Kenny Chesney and Kelsea Ballerini. Catherine Powell/Getty

The country duo kicked off Chesney's I Go Back Tour at the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Virginia on Thursday. Ballerini joined him on stage for a duet of their song, "Half of My Hometown," as well as a rendition of his 2014 hit "Wild Child."

Chesney's tour — which brings him back on the road after his massive Here and Now Tour wrapped in August — hits several cities across the country between March and May of this year, performing in many cities outside of major markets. It's a move he made intentionally, calling the tour one intended for fans "who might not come to stadium shows, who live a little off the obvious path, but who love this music every bit as much…" in a press release.

His 2004 single "I Go Back" inspired the move, the 12-time CMA Award-winner said, naming the tour after the song that talks about how music can remind you of important life moments.

"That song is about holding all those things that shaped you very close, recognizing how special they are — and keeping them alive any way you can," Chesney said in a press release. "So, I decided that rather than just go repeat what we did, I wanted to take this band and these songs to a lot of the cities we played on our way up! Let's call the tour I Go Back — and do just that."

Kenny Chesney and Kelsea Ballerini
Kenny Chesney and Kelsea Ballerini. Kevin Mazur/Getty

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As far as the decision to bring Ballerini on the road with him, ever since their collaboration on "Half of My Hometown," he said he's had his eyes on her.

"As soon as I heard that first verse, I was in. And I have been one of Kelsea's biggest fans ever since. She's a writer, a girl who sings from her heart and isn't afraid to honor where she comes from. To me, there was no other choice for this tour."

Ballerini said that "singing with Kenny is going home," noting her excitement to embark on a tour with one of country music's legends.

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