Watch: Country star Kenny Chesney rings the bell to serve as Patriots’ second ‘Keeper of the Light’


While he might not be Tom Brady, Chesney has a special connection to Gillette Stadium.

Kenny Chesney has been the headliner for concerts at Gillette Stadium more than any other singer. Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff

The follow-up act for anything Tom Brady does has to be a tough position, but the Patriots were able to get a notable celebrity to be the “Keeper of the Light.”

Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Kenny Chesney served as the second-ever “Keeper of the Light” at Gillette Stadium, ringing the bell prior to the Patriots taking the field for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins.

While Chesney has obviously never played for the Patriots, he actually has a special connection to Gillette Stadium. He’s been the headline act for the most concerts at the venue since it opened in 2002, performing 21 shows there. He’ll make it 22 soon, as he’ll be performing at Gillette Stadium again Sept. 27.

Chesney has been close to the Patriots’ organization over the years, too. The country singer has attended a handful of Patriots training camp practices and has sat in team owner Robert Kraft’s box for games on several occasions. One of those instances came during one of the biggest wins in Patriots history, sitting next to Kraft as they watched New England comeback from a 28-3 deficit to win Super Bowl LI.

Chesney, an East Tennessee native, has also stated his appreciation for the City of Boston in the past.

“The heart,” Chesney said in an interview with Haute Living on why he likes Boston so much. “Passionate people who really care, who really dig in. Everyone I’ve ever met works hard, takes real pride in what they do and plays with the same kind of passion. The Kraft family, right down to the people selling concessions at the shows: I’ve met so many really fine people. It’s a lot like where I come from, and that’s saying something.”

The Patriots donned the old, red “Pat Patriot” jerseys for Sunday’s matchup against the Dolphins. Chesney, of course, never played in those jerseys, but he’s tried on the helmet before.