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Kenny Chesney announced on his tour last year that he planned to take 2014 off from playing shows and focus on making an album. And the stadium headliner has stuck to his word.

But when his friends actor Matthew McConaughey and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees gave him an opportunity to play their benefit on May 17 at the House of Blues in New Orleans, Chesney couldn't pass it up.

"Having spent the last five or six months in the studio, I am so ready to get out there and play," Chesney told The Tennessean in an exclusive statement. "Even though we're making music, it's not the same and I can't wait to be in a room with the energy of the people...have that feeding back at me, getting all that coming back at me."

Chesney has been working on his new album, which will be released in fall 2014, since October. For this show, he will play a one-hour acoustic set. Tickets are $350 general admission and all proceeds go to McConaughey's charity Just Keep Livin' Foundation and Brees' charity The Brees Dream Foundation.

"Now other people will benefit from all of us getting together in the name of songs — and remembering all the things that music makes us feel," Chesney said of playing for "two of my best friends' foundations." "That just makes something so fun worth so much more."

Chesney's fan club will have first dibs on the limited tickets from 10 a.m.-noon today, which will be available at www.ticketmaster.com to those with a code. The remaining tickets will then go on sale to the general public at the same website after the presale.

"Drew and Matthew set the bar — for working hard, for giving back, for inspiring others," Chesney said. "They inspire me. And if I can go play songs and help them raise money for their foundations, which do so much good, I'm happy to. When you factor in that I've been cooped up, not really playing, and I'm ready to get out there with some people... It's a little selfish, cause the audience makes me feel so good! But having done this, I already know: we're gonna have a ball, and no one will get out of there without a smile on their face."

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