Kenny Rogers Determined to Get Fatherhood Right This Time Around
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.”