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15 Years Ago: Kenny Chesney Hits No. 1 With ‘The Good Stuff’

Kenny Chesney The Good Stuff cover art

Fifteen years ago today, on July 27, 2002, Kenny Chesney added another No. 1 hit to the growing list of “good stuff” that was happening in his career. It was on that date that the singer soared to the top of the charts with his song “The Good Stuff” and held reign for seven straight weeks.

“The Good Stuff,” which was the second single from Chesney’s multi-platinum No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems album, was written by veteran tunesmiths Craig Wiseman and Jim Collins. The mid-tempo song explains that the “good stuff” is “the first long kiss on a second date” and “the way that she looks with the rice in her hair / Eatin’ burnt suppers the whole first year,” but the lines “Spent five years in the bottle / When the cancer took her from me / But I’ve been sober three years now” are especially poignant, as they’re based on a tragic, true story.

“The security guard where we were writing that day, Rusty Martin, was a friend of ours. He had lost his wife to cancer. In fact, he had moved up [to Nashville] because of that,” Wiseman recalls to The Boot. “[Jim and I] were talking about, what if you just sat there and watched your wife die. We both just sat there and were sort of stunned for a minute. We said, ‘Okay, let’s get a cup of coffee and write a song!'”

“The Good Stuff,” which also reached No. 22 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, was the No. 1 country music single for the entirety of 2002 as well. The single earned Chesney an ACM Awards trophy for Single of the Year and also helped him earn Top Male Vocalist.

Chesney included “The Good Stuff” on his 2009 album Greatest Hits II. The song is available for download iTunes.

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