Kenneth Donald "Kenny" Rogers (born August 21, 1938) is an American country music singer-songwriter, photographer, record producer, actor, and entrepreneur. He has charted more than 120 hit singles across various music genres and topping the country and pop album charts for more than 200 individual weeks in the United States alone.
Rogers first outing was “Love Lifted Me.” The album charted and two singles "Love Lifted Me" and "While The Feeling's Good" were minor hits. The song "Runaway Girl" was featured in the motion picture “Trackdown.” Later in 1976, Rogers issued his second album, the self-titled “Kenny Rogers,” whose first single "Laura (What's He Got That I Ain't Got)", was another solo hit.
However, the single "Lucille" (1977) was a major hit, reaching number one on the pop charts in 12 countries, selling over five million copies, and firmly establishing Rogers's post-First Edition career. On the strength of "Lucille", the album “Kenny Rogers” reached #1 in the Billboard Country Album Chart. More success was to follow, including the multi-million selling album “The Gambler” and another international Number 1 single, "Coward of the County", taken from the equally successful album, “Kenny.”
In the late 1970s, Rogers teamed up with close friend and country singer Dottie West for a series of albums and duets. Together the duo had three hit albums, selling out stadiums and arenas while on tour. Their hits together "Every Time Two Fools Collide", "Anyone Who Isn't Me Tonight" and "What Are We Doin' in Love" became Country standards.
In 1980, his duet with Kim Carnes "Don't Fall in Love with a Dreamer" became a major hit. Later in 1980 came his partnership with Lionel Richie who wrote and produced Rogers's #1 hit "Lady". Richie went on to write and produce Rogers's 1981 album “Share Your Love,” a chart topper and commercial favorite featuring hits such as "I Don't Need You" (Pop #3), "Through the Years" (Pop #13), and "Share Your Love with Me" (Pop #14). In 1982, Rogers released the album “Love Will Turn You Around.” The title track reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the country and AC charts.
He went on to work with the Bee Gees to record and produce his 1983 hit album “Eyes That See in the Dark,” featuring the title track and yet another #1 hit "Islands in the Stream", a duet with Dolly Parton. "Islands in the Stream", the first single to be released from “Eyes That See in the Dark” in the United States, quickly went to #1 in the Billboard Hot 100. The album itself reached #1 on the country charts on both sides of the Atlantic and enjoyed multi-million sales. "Buried Treasure," "This Woman" and "Evening Star"/"Midsummer Nights" were also all successful singles from the album.
In the 21st century, Rogers was back at #1 for the first time in more than a decade with the 2000 single "Buy Me a Rose", making him, at 61, the oldest artist in the history of country music to reach the chart summit. In doing so, he broke a 26-year-old record held by Hank Snow.
March 7, 2011 marks another new chapter in the remarkable career of music legend and American icon, Kenny Rogers. That is the day his first inspirational gospel album, The Love Of God, becomes available exclusively at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® locations nationwide. Featuring 12 uplifting songs sung only the way Rogers can sing them, the record includes all-new recordings of classic hymns and gospel and contemporary songs that have touched him musically and spiritually through the years, dating back to his childhood growing up in Houston where he regularly attended church with his family. At the heart of the record is hope and peace.
Rogers, one of music’s legendary voices, has put his indelible stamp on classics like “Will The Circle Be Unbroken,” “I’ll Fly Away,” “Amazing Grace” and “In The Sweet By And By” and turned in beautifully poignant performances on more recently composed songs such as “Peace” (written by Michael McDonald & Beth Nielsen Chapman), “Grace” (written by Michael W. Smith & Martin Smith) and “The Rock Of Your Love” (written by Vince Gill, Al Anderson & Leslie Satcher). Guest artists appearing on the album include The Whites on “I’ll Fly Away,” Winfield’s Locket on “In The Sweet By And By” and Point of Grace on “Circle Of Friends.”
“What an incredible album this has turned out to be,” Rogers says of The Love Of God. “It seems I have a personal relationship with every song on it. ‘In The Sweet By And By’ was my mom’s favorite song. When I was a kid, as I was leaving to go to school, I remember hearing her sing along with that song on the radio as she did her morning ironing. Music is by far the best ‘memory creator’ I know, and that memory is very special to me.”
Marked by strikingly fresh musical and vocal arrangements, the warm and inviting album is quite eclectic, yet a common thread running through each of the songs ties the project neatly together. From the exhilarating opening track, “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” – which cleverly intertwines country, R&B, gospel, bluegrass and choral music, to the sweeping strings and heartfelt vocal performance on the calming “Peace,” to the perfectly rootsy “I’ll Fly Away” (the most authentic bluegrass recording of Rogers’ career), featuring unmistakably genuine harmony vocals by The Whites, The Love Of God begins with three fascinating musical statements that set the stage for a stirring collection of songs.