Before music stars like John Legend and Taylor Swift became household names in the music industry there were stars like Kenny Rogers. He was born in Texas and excelled in the country music and pop genre. His journey was not an easy one but he got to the peak of his career and became famous more than most.
Kenny Rogers found his passion for music through a vintage guitar, he started playing it when he was a boy. He was one of eight children and this placed a great burden on his parents that they had to do all sorts of jobs. This did not deter him from going after his dream, he started forming singing groups and instead of going to college, he moved to Los Angeles where he sang and played guitars during gigs.
What you could say was the first big opportunity that he got was becoming a member of a group called The New Christy Minstrels, this group was very popular in the 1960s. Kenny Rogers left this group and formed a group named The First Edition, where he played bass along with being the lead vocalist. This helped him launch his first hit songs to the point the band was renamed “Kenny Rogers and The First Edition”. One of his first hits was ‘Just Dropped in to See What Condition was in My Condition’ this is a very long title for a song. As he released other songs he discovered that he liked telling stories. In 1978 he left this rock band he had created and became a solo artist.
His solo move was accompanied by the decision to be a storytelling country musician. This really made him stand out and soar to the top. He started releasing narrative country ballads that shot to the top of the charts, such as Lucille, Coward of the Country, and the Gambler that got to be platinum-certified. The Gambler is a song that was so regarded it is preserved in the Library of Congress in the United States. The lyrics of this song are held as great advice to this day.
This song made Kenny Rogers a megastar by crossing over between the country genre and the pop genre. This song led to him performing in the Grammy, he also acted in films that were motivated by the song. He became likened to Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, and the Bee Gees. After this, he became a big pop idol.
His stardom continued till the 1980s that he released the song “Don’t Fall in Love with a Dreamer” this song was released with Kim Carnes. Subsequently, he released Share Your Love which was an album produced by Lionel Richie. The album featured many popular songs, even a song with Dolly Parton. He had stamped his image as a massive star in Pop music.
In 2018 Kenny Rogers went on a tour, it was considered a farewell tour and was tagged as the last deal of the gambler. He could not finish the tour because of issues relating to his health and the fact that he wanted to have more time with his family. On the 20th of March 2020, he died at the age of 81. He had lived a full life and achieved the peak of what he wanted to do. His songs will continue to resonate with his messages and the beauty of his talents. He lives on through his fans, etched in their memories and his songs.
For more information about Kenny Rogers and his legacy, visit kennyrogers.com.