Two-time Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning told the story of how he and Kenny Chesney became such great friends.
The former Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts quarterback recently appeared on Luke Combs’ Apple Music Country radio show dubbed Bootleggers Radio and during his appearance on the show, he chatted about football and country music artists that he loves and has formed friendships with including Eric Church, George Strait and his longtime friend Kenny Chesney.
“It’s been a great friendship, started a long time ago, Luke, I want to say 1996,” Manning explained of he and Chesney’s friendship. ”
He went on to explain to Combs, that he first met Chesney on the sidelines of a Tennessee-Alabama game in 1996. Manning continued to share that Chesney was always a diehard Tennessee fan growing up, since he grew up in East Tennessee, more specifically in the Knoxville area.
“Kenny was a diehard Tennessee fan growing up, growing up in the East Tennessee, Knoxville area, he played the national anthem, sang ‘Me and You’ I think at halftime and hung out on the sidelines for the game,” Manning shared. “And he was into it. He wasn’t just thinking it was cool to be on the sidelines. He was into the game and you felt that.”
Manning admitted that he connected with him from his shear enjoyment of football, which went on to form a strong friendship, and lead Chesney to performing “Me And You” at Manning’s wedding.
“And so he and I connected then and then went and saw him play a couple of shows at a fair in Knoxville, up in Bristol.” Manning explained. “A lot of his songs were coming out at the time. And you felt that connection going to school in Knoxville and following a guy that was from the area. You felt even a closer bond with that performer. And Kenny ended up singing at the church at my wedding. He performed ‘Me and You’ for my wife and I for our first song at our wedding reception. So just been good friends since then.”
Since becoming good friends, Manning has seen Chesney concerts dozens of times as well as been brought up on stage to sing and perform alongside the country superstar.
“Seen him in concert a bunch. I’ve been on stage with him too many times,” Manning added. “I apologize to all the fans that had to hear me sing ‘Back Where I Come From,’ as opposed to letting Kenny sing it. But Kenny liked bringing me out there, and believe it or not, Luke, back in the pre-social media era, he actually put a guitar on me and put me in with the band. He put me in G. I don’t know what G really is, but I get in G and just stay at it. And played the whole show. What a great way to watch a concert. The sight seeing, the energy, it was awesome. I think those days are over I think.”
Additionally, earlier this year, Manning was seen hanging out with Chesney, Morgan Wallen, Luke Combs, Cole Swindell, Jake Owen and more at a bar, following a football game.