Kenny Rogers Is Pretty Excited About the Lineup for His Farewell Concert
Kenny Rogers‘ star-studded farewell tribute concert, All in for the Gambler: Kenny Rogers’ Farewell Concert Celebration, will take place on Oct. 25 in Nashville. The show will feature a number artists — from various genres — who have been hand-picked by Rogers, who hopes to sing with at least some of them throughout the night.
“We’re excited about having all of the people,” Rogers shared with The Boot and other reporters at a recent media event. He jokes, “Lionel Richie, he’s coming from Australia, and no other artist will be able to use that as an excuse … We have had some fun times together, and I really hope he can be here.
“[Little Big Town] sound like First Edition, and we’ve become good friends,” Rogers continues, recalling his early band. “Alison Krauss, I’ve never, ever, asked her for anything that she didn’t say yes to without thinking about it. So I think you’ve got to step back and say, ‘Wow. What a friend.’”
Other artists already committed to perform at All in for the Gambler include Jamey Johnson, Dolly Parton, Linda Davis, Elle King, Reba McEntire, Chris Stapleton, Lady Antebellum, Wynonna Judd and Broadway star Idina Menzal, the latter of whom Rogers admits is one of his favorite singers.
“That girl can sing,” boasts Rogers. “I’m not sure my songs are good enough for her. But I look forward to seeing what she does with them, and we’re thrilled to have her.”
All in for the Gambler is celebrating Rogers’ more than 60 years in the business. Throughout that time, the Country Music Hall of Fame member, perhaps unintentionally, became a trend-setter.
“It was never my design or interest in changing country music, because there’s really only two ways you can do things,” shares Rogers. “You come at it and you do what everyone else is doing and you do it better — and I didn’t like my chances of competing with Johnny Cash … or you do something nobody else is doing.”
While Rogers may not want to take credit for altering the future of music, he was part of one charitable project, “We Are the World,” that benefited impoverished parts of Africa. Rogers participated as one of more than 30 stars, including Richie, Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Bob Dylan, Diana Ross and Billy Joel, and quickly learned how popular — or unpopular — he was.
“When I went in there, I had had about 10 No. 1 records, and I thought, ‘Boy, people are going to bow down to me.’ But they didn’t even notice me. I mean, there were people in there who were so much farther along in their career than I was,” Rogers recalls. “For everybody in there, it was really Earth-shattering to be able to step back and say, ‘I’m not important. This song is important.’ And we all did our best to do that.”
Throughout Rogers’ illustrious career, he has mostly heeded the advice of his mother, whose words of wisdom helped create one of the most successful careers in music, of any genre.
“When I was really young and I was starting to be semi-successful, she said, ‘Son, be careful what you do,'” Rogers remembers. “You’re always impressing someone else, in some genre, whether good or bad … You’re going to influence a lot of people, good or bad. So I’ve chosen to make as many good ones as I can and as few bad ones as I can.”
Tickets for All in for the Gambler: Kenny Rogers’ Farewell Concert Celebration are available for purchase online at Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000, at all Ticketmaster locations and at the Bridgestone Arena box office. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the TJ Martell Foundation and the Kenny Rogers Children’s Center.
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