Kenny Rogers Focuses on Family Over Career
Kenny Rogers has had a busy year.
He released his 35th studio album, 'You Can't Make Old Friends,' which includes a duet of the title track with his good friend Dolly Parton. He also penned his memoir, 'Luck or Something Like It,' wrote his first novel, 'What Are the Chances' with Mike Blakely, and played before more than 100,000 fans at the renowned Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary and Performing Arts in England.
Rogers, who was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame earlier this year by Garth Brooks, says that in spite of his continued success, his first priority has nothing to do with his career. More than anything, he wants to be present for his nine-year-old twin boys, Jordan and Justin, with his wife, Wanda.
The Texan says he originally planned on spending the year walking his boys to the bus stop "because that's my job," he tells Nashville's Tennessean.
“I wrote in the autobiography that there’s a fine line between being driven and being selfish,” he adds. “I think success requires that you be selfish sometimes, and I refuse to do that now. I’m determined to stay home with the boys, and it’s really a wonderful gift for me. So if I have no more success, I’m OK. But to have the opportunity to have success (is really special)."
The singer says that while his father was not present in his own life, his mother worked hard to make sure she raised Rogers and his seven siblings well, which included going to church four times a week.
‘Because you can never be more as an adult than what’s put into you as a child, we’re going to church,’” he recalls her saying. “And I said, OK. And we went to church. It’s great advice. It’s stuff like that that shapes a kid.”
Rogers also has two grown children, Kenny, Jr. and Christopher, who he says have turned out well, in spite of the mistakes he made raising them. “I missed an important part of their life,” he concedes, “I look back on my career and I say, ‘Suppose I hadn’t been selfish? Suppose I had been the father I should have been, would I be here today?’ There’s a point where you have to say, ‘It doesn’t matter what I did.’”
The iconic country singer will be honored for his legendary career with the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award at the 47th annual CMA Awards, which will air this Wednesday (Nov. 6) on ABC. Rascal Flatts, Jennifer Nettles and Darius Rucker will all participate in a musical tribute to his many accomplishments.
Rogers will kick off his annual Christmas tour in November as well. See a complete list of his upcoming shows here.
See Kenny Rogers' + More Country Stars' Yearbook Pictures