Happy on the Hey Now (A Song For Kristi)

Album: Life on a Rock (2013)


  • This is about Kristi Hansen, a friend of Kenny's who passed away in 2012 from a brain aneurysm at the age of 35. The singer first met Kristi in the US Virgin Islands in the 1990s and she was part of a group of pals whom he would hang out with during his downtime in the Caribbean. He recorded this touching tribute to her as the closing track of his sixteenth studio album, Life On A Rock. "This record was tough for me in the studio, especially that one," the Nashville star told Billboard magazine. "To sing a song that personal - about someone who really touched your life was hard for me. It really was. There's a difference in singing something like ' Pirate Flag,' 'When The Sun Goes Down,' or ' Summertime' in the studio, and getting in there and singing a song like that. This record was so emotional and so close to me."
  • The Hey Now was a boat that Chesney would hang out with in the Caribbean with his friends and he considered Kristy the centerpiece of all of them. Chesney explained to Billboard magazine: "This person defined that circle of friends, she defined a time in my life when it was a lot simpler for me. I think that she was the kind of person that lived the kind of life I really craved. She was the epitome of living life in the moment. She took life like it was a big lemon and squeezed it really hard. I think we all have somebody in our life that dies young, and it's hard to figure out why, and that can make such an impact that no matter how busy you are and what you're doing in life, it can stop you in your life and change you. That's what it did to me, even before I wrote this song. When that happens to you and you have to let go of someone you really care about, it makes you re-evaluate everything. It makes you re-evaluate the connection with the person you're in a relationship with, what you're giving to it, are you giving to it. It makes you re-evaluate your relationships with your family, your friends, and that's what Kristi's passing did to me. It changed me as a person, as an artist and songwriter, the way I like to walk through the word. She was a special person."

    "Some people are really good at math, good at school," he added, "some have a great business mind, some are great at sports. Kristi was good at life and that's what this song is all about."

Comments: 4

  • Mark Riddell from Ontario Canada Wow. Just listened to the Kristi tribute. Wish I would have known her. So tragic. My condolences to everyone.
  • Snappy from North Carolina I just heard that song for the first time at the Big Rock Marlin Tournament. A friend played it and I could tell it was special to Kenny. We all boat here in The eastern Carolinas Most of us have great experiences on the water and after. I feel for you Kenny
  • Ryan from MarylandDoes anyone know why the boat is named "Happy on the Hey Now"?
  • Donna from MichiganWOW! We lost our daughter Kristy almost 2 years ago. She was 21, lived her life to the fullest, always helping people, loved children and her smile we will always remember because she could light up a room with it. She was a beautiful young lady inside and out and with her passing she changed a lot of people’s lives for the better.

    This song fits her perfectly as many of her friends, family members and her cheer coach have sent this to us in the past 2 years. She had left us with so many wonderful memories that we are always talking about her and that helps to keep her “alive” in our hearts. What a beautiful song, so emotional.
    Thank you for writing this to help us remember her. I am sorry to hear about your friend Kristi and know how painful the loss can be.
    With prayers,
    Kristy’s Mom (Donna)
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