Chesney's team announced Thursday that all artists' fees for Chesney and his band, as well as those of his management and booking representatives, will be donated to Give Tuscaloosa.com.
Exact figures weren't available at press time, but big-ticket touring artists such as Chesney can make six-figure salaries for concerts.
“Well, we've been playing the Keg in the Closet shows in Tuscaloosa for years, a the Jupiter Bar & Grill, and we've gotta lotta friends down there, and the heart of the country is with everybody who's dealing with this tragedy,” Chesney said in a recorded statement.
“And I'm thrilled and we're thrilled that all the money from this show will stay in the community of Tuscaloosa. And we're looking really forward to doing the show.”
After the April 27 tornado, Chesney's management got in touch with the city, wanting to know how they could help. Mayor Walt Maddox persuaded them that having the show go on would aid Tuscaloosa's healing process. But it was Chesney who made the decision to donate the money.
“We're just thrilled that he would give back to Tuscaloosa in this time of need,” Maddox said. “We've had so many endure so much, but for a few moments on May 25, thousands of people will get the opportunity to enjoy themselves, and that's a step to recovery.
“Thousands of people who are going to benefit from this donation might not have been fans of Kenny Chesney, but they might be now.”
Wendy Riggs, director of the amphitheater's operations, said “I think it's a huge deal, because first of all, he was already playing us, a smaller venue than he's usually playing.
“A lot of artists are looking at something they can do, like the benefit” organized by Hank Williams Jr. and broadcast Thursday night on CMT.
“It's a great gesture, and I hope it's something other people will pick up on.”
GiveTuscaloosa.com is a clearinghouse for local charities and social services founded to address needs from the April 27 tornado.
For information or to make donations, call 205-758-7588 or visit www.givetuscaloosa.com. Contributionsmay be made by making checks payable to “Tuscaloosa Disaster Relief Fund” and mailing them to P.O. Box 020410, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401.