With one of his biggest hits entitled “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy”, and with his Franklin, Tennessee, estate sprawling over 56 acres, you would expect country music legend Kenny Chesney to know a thing or two about tractors. In fact, in a recent interview, the six-time Academy of Country Music Award winner and four-time Entertainer of the Year admitted to owning not one, but two.
Just don’t expect to find them on his recently listed property.
“I think he liked his tractors so much that he took them with him,” explains realtor Laura Stroud of Nashville-based French King Fine Properties, who together with colleague Lisa Wilson holds the listing for Mr. Chesney’s spectacular Nashville-area home.
Chesney, 53, bought the Tuscan-style villa as a spec build back in 2009 for a reported $9.25 million. Called Bella Luce, Italian for “beautiful light”, it was designed by local Nashville architect Brad Norris, who was given free rein by builder Jimmy Franks of Old South Construction to use some of the most authentic materials available.
For the exterior walls, he specified 150-year-old brick and carved stone, along with Santa Fe clay barrel tiles for the multitude of roofs. Inside, it’s all rich, reclaimed walnut floors, hand-carved Mesquite-wood doors and massive cedar and Douglas fir exposed wood beams.
“What makes my heart sing are the exquisite Venetian plaster walls throughout the entire house,” says Stroud. “It involves a remarkably time-consuming, and expensive, process where several layers of plaster are hand-troweled and then given a wax finish to produce this beautiful luster and sheen.”
Naturally, for such a high-profile artist like Chesney, the original appeal of the property was no doubt its security and privacy. Imposing gates off Franklin’s Lake Valley Drive open to a half-mile-long driveway leading to the tree-shrouded home’s stunning, brick-paved circular motor court.
When Chesney bought the estate it included more than 30 acres of land but, according to Stroud, over the years the singer quietly acquired additional plots for added privacy, as well investment. “If a buyer wanted to, there are parcels that could be developed and sold off while still keeping the property as a very sizable estate,” she says.
Talking of size, the home comes with over 12,000 square feet of living space spread over four, elevator-connected floors. The main ground floor includes a spectacular reception room with soaring beamed ceilings, giant wrought iron chandeliers and two 25-foot-high limestone fireplaces, one at each end of the room. An archway leads into the home’s cavernous yet cozy kitchen/dining room/family space with its huge center marble-topped island, professional-grade appliances and stone fireplace.
This ground floor level also includes the stylish master suite with huge wooden beams, vaulted ceiling and Romanesque stone pillars. Here, you’ll also find a sitting area, dressing room and French doors that open on to a private patio.
A wood and hand-painted tile staircase leads up to the second floor with three more ensuite bedrooms, each with its own balcony overlooking the grounds. One more elevator ride upwards takes you to a whimsical lookout tower offering 360-degree views all the way to Music City in the distance.
The cavernous 2,538-square-foot basement area was outfitted by Chesney—often referred to as “the fittest man in country music”—as a state-of-the-art gym. Other stand-out features of the main house include a movie theater with oversized leather recliners, a billiards room and an elegant office with built-ins and arched glass doors leading out on to covered terraces.
In total, the home boasts over 3,000 square-feet of covered terraces and walkways, an infinity-edged saltwater pool with a waterfall feature, and a covered outdoor kitchen. “The outdoor spaces are truly exceptional,” explains Wilson. “Because the home sits on a hilltop, the views across the meadows to the large pond are spectacular. There is a real feeling of peace and serenity here.”
One major addition Chesney made to the home was building a detached four-car stone garage in addition to the existing attached six-car garage. He also added two 500-gallon fuel storage tanks—one for diesel for those tractors, the other for gas for the singer’s car collection.
Talking about the estate, Stroud describes it as “a little slice of Tuscany less than 20 miles from downtown Nashville. While there are other large estates in the area, none have this level of character, this kind of architectural style and this much over-engineered quality.”
Sadly, however, no tractor is included.
Check out more photos of the home below: