Kenny Chesney's songwriting changed forever after the death of a friend.

The country singer has penned a track, 'Happy on the Hey Now', in memory of his late pal Kristi because he wanted to thank her for the way she impacted on his life, and he admits she changed many things about him.

Explaining the inspiration for the song, he said: ''Well, Kristi was a part of a really special, wonderful circle of friends that I had met in the Virgin Islands years ago. In a lot of ways, she defined that circle of friends. She defined living in the moment. She wanted everybody to be happy. When someone like that passes, when they die young, I don't care who you are or what you do, it stops you in your tracks. It did me.

''I mean, it changed me. It changed the way I write songs. And things I used to get mad at, I don't get mad at that much anymore. I think it changed the way I look at my relationships. If you've got somebody in your life that you love, you better tell 'em, you know?

''So this song is a simple reflection of her friendship and how much she meant to people and how big of an impact she made on my life. She never knew, but this song was a simple thank you to her.''

Another new song, 'Lindy' is dedicated to someone Kenny knows from living in the Virgin Islands, though they have never spoken.

He told CMT: ''Lindy was a unique individual. He was a person that I never had a conversation with, and I don't know that many people that did. He was just a person on the island.

''One night I was walking past this church on my way home, and I heard somebody in there playing piano. I walked up the steps, and there was Lindy. I was there for a couple of minutes and realised, 'As different as our life is, here was a person alone with his thoughts and his music.' And I realised that Lindy and I had a lot more in common that I could've ever imagined.''