updated 03/27/2008 AT 4:00 PM ET
•originally published 03/27/2008 AT 4:40 PM ET
The modest note on the door of hot Nashville nightspot Cabana (“Back room closed for private party. Sorry for the inconvenience”) gave no indication of the star power gathered in the rear to celebrate Kenny Chesney’s 40th birthday Wednesday night.
The country star approached his major mid-life milestone by partying with family – mom, dad and sis in from Lutrell, Tenn. – and friends Tim McGraw, Kix Brooks (of Brooks & Dunn), Dierks Bentley and Jennifer Nettles (of Sugarland). Also on the birthday support team: New England Patriots linebacker Junior Seau, pitching ace Roger Clemens and NASCAR legend Sterling Marlin.
Rockabilly hillbilly Jason D. Williams provided the entertainment for the 200 partiers, but he handed the mic to the birthday boy to perform a raucous rendition of “I’ll Fly Away” with back-up singers Faith Hill and Kellie Pickler.
The food, meanwhile, leaned Asian for notorious health nut Chesney – chicken and beef satay, vegetable spring rolls and tuna tartare on wonton chips – but the cakes were All-American sweet and gooey: One chocolate with white frosting, and one white with chocolate frosting (each with a “4” and “0” candle), and both purchased that day from the decidedly downscale bakery at Publix.
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