Kenny Rogers Reveals Plans for Star-Studded Farewell Tribute Show
Kenny Rogers will celebrate his upcoming retirement with thousands of his fans, and several of his famous friends. The iconic singer will be the star of the show at a tribute concert in his honor, All in for the Gambler: Kenny Rogers’ Farewell Concert Celebration, scheduled to be held on Oct. 25, at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena.
Little Big Town, Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton, Linda Davis and Jamey Johnson, along with Broadway star Idina Menzel, pop star Elle King and rock group the Flaming Lips, have all signed on to participate in All in for the Gambler, and more artists are expected to be added to the lineup shortly. It didn't occur to Rogers -- who has more than six decades of hits behind him -- to go out with a big send-off, until his good friend and frequent duet partner, Dolly Parton, gave him the idea.
"We were talking one day, and she said, ‘Are you really doing your farewell tour?’ I said, ‘Yeah. I want to go home and spend some time with my wife and kids’ ... She said, ‘You can’t leave without me and you going out onstage for the very last time and singing something,'" Rogers shared at a press event announcing the show. "So that’s how it started. So she’s gonna be there, and we’re going to sing for the last time. It should be something really exciting."
“Kenny is like a family member to me. We have been friends for over 30 years and made musical magic together," Parton, who last performed onstage with Rogers 13 years ago, shared in a statement. "Since 1983, when we released "Islands in the Stream," everyone has had an expectation to see Kenny everywhere I go and me with him wherever he goes ... Performing with Kenny for the last time ever on Oct. 25 is going to be emotional for both of us, but it’s also going to be very special. Even though Kenny may be retiring, as he fades from the stage, our love for each other will never fade away.”
Rogers is hand-picking many of the All in for the Gambler performers himself, but he says he will let the artists choose which song they want to sing. It'll be an arduous task, as Rogers has charted more than 40 singles, on either the country or pop charts, and sometimes both.
"I think you have to let the artist pick the song. I’m excited about that, because you hear different renditions of your song that you’ve never heard before," the Country Music Hall of Fame member explains. "When I do duets, I always let the artist pick the song. I never pick the song, because you have to find a song that that artist is going to sound good on. Because if they don’t sound good, they’ll hold you responsible."
So many artists and fans will certainly attend Rogers' final farewell show, but there are three people whom he says will be his favorite guests of the night: his wife and twin sons.
"My wife, Wanda, and my twin boys, Justin and Jordan, will be there," Rogers shares. "And that in itself is an exciting send-off for me."
Tickets for All in for the Gambler: Kenny Rogers’ Farewell Concert Celebration will go on sale on July 21 at 10AM CT online at Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 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.
Rogers is currently out on the road his farewell tour, which is scheduled to wrap up on Nov. 4 in New Hampshire. A list of his remaining shows is available on his website.
See Kenny Rogers' + More Country Stars' Yearbook Pictures