Artist of the week - Kenny Rogers

Artist name: Kenny Rogers

No. Of (studio) Albums: 39

No. Of Singles: 80

No. Of UK number 1s: 2

My favourite album: Water and Bridges

My top 5 songs (no particular order):

My Petition

(Something Inside) So Strong

I Can’t Unlove You

Islands in the Stream ft. Dolly Parton

Half a Man

(Yes, I am aware that 3 of those are from the same album, but it is my favourite and has many wonderful memories attached to it)

Most recognisable song: Coward of the County

Song that deserves more recognition: The Last Ten Years (Superman)

Kenny Rogers (1938-2020) is one of the biggest names in country music. He produced hits such as “The Gambler” and “Lucille” in his time as well as the famous duet “Islands in the Stream” with none other than Dolly Parton.

Born in Texas, Rogers first rose to fame as a solo artist in 1976 after 21 years in various musical ensembles, including First Edition and the New Christy Minstrels. As well as iconic duets, Rogers also had a songwriting partnership with Lionel Richie.

Country music is famous for its underlying stories, but Rogers took that one step further, developing the character in his Grammy-winning hit single “The Gambler” for the screen, in Emmy-nominated “Kenny Rogers as The Gambler”.

Rogers went on to hold several acting roles in the years both on television and the big screen, but this wouldn’t distract him from his music career.

Rogers’ final album was released in 2013, titled “You Can’t Make Old Friends” and he embarked on his final tour in 2015 and, although dates were scheduled into 2018 (cancelled for health reasons), he played his final show in Nashville, the Country Music Capital of the world, on October 25th 2017.

In his 70 year career, Rogers won Grammys, the CMT “artist of a lifetime” award, as well as lifetime achievement awards in his other ventures, such as photography. In 2013, Rogers played the “legends” slot at Glastonbury, only a few months after it was announced he would be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame later that year. His final great achievement was in 2018 when the Library of Congress announced that his single “The Gambler” would be preserved in the National Recording Registry.

The music of Kenny Rogers touched the hearts of millions and will outlive him for many years to come.