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Kenny Rogers Determined to Get Fatherhood Right This Time Around

Kenny Rogers
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Kenny Rogers is country music’s king of second chances. He found most of his spectacular success after a middle-aged reinvention, transitioning from a member of the First Edition to a solo country performer. And now, in his 70s, the superstar is getting a second chance at fatherhood.

Rogers admits he didn’t always put family first when he was a younger man, chasing his career. That’s part of what struck him so hard about ‘You Had to Be There,’ a song from his latest album, ‘You Can’t Make Old Friends.’

“First of all, I have identical twins, nine years old, and so that song says you had to be there back when I was nine,” he tells The Boot. “It is such a formative year for kids, especially boys. And I think this is a story about a man who goes to prison to visit his son and starts chastising his son for the things he’s done, and the boy in so many words says, ‘Wait a minute. This is your fault. You had to be there back when I was nine.’”

The 75-year-old singer says he has changed his priorities since his twins were born. “I think I related to that because I have two other grown boys, and I wasn’t with them when they were nine,” he reflects. “I was with them until they were about eight, and in my autobiography I talk about, there’s a fine line between being driven and being selfish, and I think I may have crossed that line a couple of times when I was younger. And I don’t wanna do that with the boys. I’m determined to be there and be a dad to them at all costs.”

Next: The Top 10 Kenny Rogers Songs

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