Kenny Rogers Checks Music City Walk of Fame Off His Bucket List
On Tuesday (Oct. 24), Kenny Rogers became the 80th person to receive a star on the Music City Walk of Fame. The honor came one day before Rogers bids a public farewell to the spotlight during his Wednesday night (Oct. 25) tribute show, Kenny Rogers: All in for the Gambler.
"I’ve accomplished a lot more than I ever thought I would and than I probably ever should have," Rogers shared during his Walk of Fame induction ceremony. "But it’s really been a great career, and I’ve had a great life ... This was, believe it or not, the last item on my bucket list. I’ve been doing really well."
During his Music City Walk of Fame induction ceremony, Rogers reflected on his decades-long career, especially the early years, when not everyone understood his style of music.
"I realized that I really didn’t have national acceptance. I wasn’t country in the sense of Johnny Cash and those guys, and I knew it. I stood over at the [Hall of Fame] one night, and I kept looking at pictures, and I was saying, ‘Why am I not in here?’ And then I saw Minnie Pearl and I thought, ‘They’re right. I don’t fit in,'" he recalled. "So, gradually, music caught up to me, and they were nice enough to put me in. I want you to know that everything today is very special to me."
Rogers was inducted into the Music City Walk of Fame by the Oak Ridge Boys, who acknowledged during the ceremony that they owe much of their career success to Rogers.
"We’ve learned more from Kenny Rogers over these decades than anybody else in the music industry," band member Joe Bonsall said, recalling the numerous times the two acts collaborated together. "We learned how to look for good songs, because Kenny is a song man. We learned how to put on shows. We learned how to treat people right. We learned how to be honest. We learned integrity in your performance. A lot of people probably don’t realize how much our careers have intertwined all of these years."
Receiving his star on the Music City Walk of Fame was a perfect way for Rogers to walk away from the spotlight, he said.
"When you get in this business, you have things that you dream about, that you hope [for]," Rogers shared with The Boot and other reporters after the ceremony. "One of the first ones was, I did the Ed Sullivan Show. And that was really important to me. That said a lot to my ability, my luck ...
"This here, as I said, represents my acceptance in Nashville, like the Country Music Hall of Fame does," he continued. "Because it bothered me for a long time before. It’s like my boys asked me before, ‘Dad, why did they wait so long to get you into the Hall of Fame?’ I said, ‘Son, let me tell you something: It’s not when, it’s that you get in.’ Because songs come and go, but the Hall of Fame is forever. And this today, I don’t think they take these stars up when I leave, do they?"
Other artists who have stars on the Music City Walk of Fame include Reba McEntire, Bill Anderson, Vince Gill, Garth Brooks, Miranda Lambert, Steve Wariner and Randy Travis.
See Kenny Rogers' + More Country Stars' Yearbook Pictures