Tennessee teacher Nathan Blankenship was booted out of Kenny Chesney's Nashville-area show on Saturday, according to ABC affiliate WKRN-TV. The reason? He apparently looked a little too much like the country-music star.
Blankenship spent $200 to buy his ticket to the Chesney/Tim McGraw "Brothers of the Sun" show. He told WKRN he'd been to several Chesney concerts in recent years -- and when he attends, people naturally want his picture, since he resembles the singer and dresses like him (cowboy hat, sleeveless T-shirt) .
"Here or there somebody asked to take a picture to make their friends or family think they were with Kenny or whatever, that's fine," he said. "I don't mind.... I can't help the way I look."
But security felt otherwise; as Blankenship reported, he was approached by a security officer who asked to see his ticket. "I just thought he was going to lead me back to my seat," he said. Instead, the security guard grabbed his arm and escorted him out. "He just said that (I was) purposely trying to impersonate a celebrity, so we're kicking you out."
WKRN reported that a "high-ranking" venue executive told Nashville's News 2 Sunday that local police were were alerted about Blankenship before the show, and, the network noted, "country music stars saw him in crowds at previous concerts and thought he was a disruption."
But Chesney's label, Messina Group, sees it differently and is working to patch things up. VP of marketing for Messina Kate McMahon said that no one was aware of that Blankenship was shown the door. "We never want our fans to leave disappointed and we are reaching out to him to make this situation right," she said.
Blankenship issued a statement to Nashville's News 2 Monday night, indicating that the company has offered to refund his ticket cost and send him CDs.
He added, "I am not now, nor have I ever been a Kenny Chesney impersonator and contrary to several reports, I do not sign autographs, pretend to be him for financial gain, or follow him around from concert to concert.... I have never wanted to be famous and after all this attention from the press, I am glad I chose to be a teacher. I am sure that when school starts back in August and the students ask about my summer break, I will have quite a story to tell."
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