Setting the World on Fire
by Kenny Chesney (featuring Pink)

Album: Cosmic Hallelujah (2016)
Charted: 29

Songfacts®:

  • This Ross Copperman, Matt Jenkins and Josh Osborne penned song finds Kenny Chesney dueting with pop star Pink. The country singer delayed the release of his Cosmic Hallelujah album to enable him to add "Setting the World on Fire" to the project.

    "Sure, it would be easier to just leave everything on schedule. But when you have something you know is great, and it captures the best part of being alive, why wouldn't you slow down enough to make it happen in the moment?" Chesney said. "That's what "Setting the World on Fire" is all about - and I figure it may be a while before I make another record, and I don't want to wait to share this because it's so good."
  • The two singers formed a friendship while Chesney was spending time in California. "The thing about Pink, beyond what a great singer she is, is what a generous spirit she has," the country star said. "To me, great singers are the ones who can get inside a song and capture the spark. When you hear Pink on this song, you believe her - and to me, that's everything the song required to come to life."
  • The song was recorded at Rick Rubin's Malibu studio and finds the two stars exploring the feelings of being on the brink of falling in love. Chesney said of the collaboration. "I like the idea of Pink with her voice that is so strong and contains so many colors... she really makes that idea of giving into your heart, shouting out the window and whirling around in the middle of an abandoned street feel real."
  • This was Kenny Chesney's 49th entry on the Hot 100. It debuted at #29, the highest bow of all of Chesney's career entries.
  • The lyrics were derived directly from a special experience that happened to co-writer Josh Osborne. "A couple of years ago I won a Grammy for 'Merry Go 'Round' with Kacey Musgraves," he shared with Taste of Country. "That all takes place in L.A., and my wife and I were staying at this hotel and I just remember that night... it was such an amazing moment."

    After the Grammy parties, the excited couple went back to their hotel drinking champagne, staying up all night drinking champagne. "So many of those images were just stored in my mind, because this whole night in my mind," Osbourne said, "this is gonna sound ridiculous, but this whole night was sort of champagne-colored in my mind, but I'd never really written about it."

    When Osbourne got together with his two co-writers, Ross Copperman already had a track prepared. "He started playing that music that became 'Setting the World on Fire,' and it just already felt emotional, and it felt alive, and it felt like a moment to me," Osbourne recalled. "And Matt Jenkins - not knowing my whole story that night with the Grammy stuff - Matt was like, 'I have this line I'd written down on a piece of paper about, 'We got drunk on La Cienega Boulevard.' And I don't know what it means, but I love the poetry of a line like that, how real it sounds.' And I just was like, 'Oh my god.' So then in my mind, this song became, let's just write about that moment, let's just write about that night."
  • The song was Chesney's 23rd Country #1 and Pink's first. It was in fact Pink's debut appearance on Billboard's country chart.

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