The first time I ever saw Kenny Rogers perform he kicked off his set with his hit “You Decorated My Life.” Next to me, an older couple began to dance, singing every word along with him, and I noticed that both of them were crying. After the song ended I asked the couple why they were crying to which they responded that this day was there wedding anniversary and that this song had been the song that played on their very first date and of course, on their wedding day as well. While I was touched by their story and happy to be in the same audience as true Kenny fans, it was this moment that I realized just how long Kenny Roger’s has been around. Since the 1950s Roger’s has been performing and with his incredible run in the music business there is no doubt why he has such a following. Last week, Saturday June 15th, in country music’s hometown of Nashville, TN Kenny Rogers took the stage for a record number of 60,000 people at the CMA Music Festival. His sold out shows seemed to deliver a lifetime of his best work and completely blew away his devoted fans. Later on, in true Kenny Rogers’ fashion he continued his fantastic performances at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN on Sunday. You would think that after more than 50 years in the business Rogers would have a limited supply of tricks left in his bag, but the veteran surprised his audience with a special performance of “Lady” with longtime friend Lionel Richie… and I’m pretty sure the crowd is still cheering. If that wasn’t impressive enough, Rogers also performed with legendary band Phish to sing number-one-hit, “The Gambler.” Following these performances, Billboard Magazine through out words like “Spellbinding,” and “Breathtaking,” but I have a feeling this was just Kenny being Kenny.
With so many players in the country music game these days it’s easy to sometimes forget the best of the best, but Kenny Rogers is dedicated to staying on top, and he’s doing it without forgetting his roots. Just recently, Kenny dedicated an equally magical performance of “The Gambler” at the Songwriters Hall of Fame induction ceremony in New York City in honor of dear friend, Don Schlitz. While there is lots of success under the belt-buckle of Kenny Rogers we can expect a lot more, his world tour kicks off on July 13th in Myrtle Beach, SC and his autobiography releases on October 2nd… but wait, there’s more! Rogers will join top-charters like Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban in the studio to begin producing a new album with Warner Bros. Records later this summer. Kenny Rogers has come a long way with country music but he just keeps on coming. He is truly the definition of a country rock star, and for most of us that have seen him live, leaving an impact on all generations, we know that the next steps of his career will be nothing short of legendary.