Kenny Chesney is making a major shakeup in his career: After more than 20 years with Sony Music Nashville, the country star has left the label to sign with Warner Music Nashville.

Variety and Country Aircheck reported the news late Tuesday (Jan. 16), and Chesney confirmed the details in a press release on Wednesday morning (Jan. 17). Chesney's new labelmates include Blake Shelton, Brett Eldredge, Ashley McBryde and more.

“It is a big deal to change labels,” Chesney says. “But when you hear [Warner Music Group CEO of Recorded Music] Max [Lousada], Espo [Warner Music Nashville Chairman and CEO John Esposito], and [Warner Music Nashville Senior Vice President of A&R] Cris Lacy talk about music, about what it means and does, when you hear that passion, you can’t help but get fired up. To me, music is only complete when it gets to the fans and becomes part of their lives. The people at Warner understand my commitment to that idea, and they’re just as committed to those ideals as I am.”

Adds Esposito, "Kenny Chesney embodies the relentless pursuit of artistic freedom and expression. An unapologetic free spirit, he has built a career on perseverance, drive, innovation, and most especially, great songs. Everything he does is inspired. It is with deep respect and honor that we welcome Kenny to Warner Music Nashville. We couldn’t be more excited to work with him and his team.”

Chesney began his country music career with Capricorn Records, the label with which he released his first album, 1994's In My Wildest Dreams. He then signed with BNA, part of the Sony family, and released All I Need to Know in 1995. Chesney remained with BNA until the late 2000s, when he founded his own imprint, Blue Chair Records; his first release under that label was 2008's Lucky Old Sun.

BNA closed its doors in 2012, and Columbia Records -- another subsidiary of Sony -- absorbed Chesney and Blue Chair Records. His last studio release with Sony came in 2016, with Cosmic Hallelujah; he also released a live album, Live in No Shoes Nation, with the label in 2017. Chesney has released four singles from Cosmic Hallelujah, including the No. 1 songs "Setting the World on Fire" (a collaboration with Pink) and "All the Pretty Girls."

In 2018, Chesney has plans to get back out on the road, following a largely tour date-free 2017. His Trip Around the Sun Tour will begin in the spring.

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