Kenny Rogers' retirement announcement in late September wasn't a complete shock to country music fans -- he is 77, after all -- but it is still sad to hear that the country icon will be hanging up his hat. In a new interview with Variety, Rogers says that his decision to retire is in part due to the current state of country music.

The singer tells the magazine that country music is "very healthy right now," and that he doesn't want to try to compete with today's stars.

"I think country music is whatever country people will buy. And I think people don’t buy certain kinds of country anymore. So what happens is that, in their efforts to do something different, to set themselves apart from me and the other guys before me, they took it to a different place," Rogers explains. "Country is very healthy right now -- they’re bringing in a lot of kids. But it’s not a type of music that I prefer or that I would want to do, and that’s why I’m getting out."

The Country Music Hall of Fame member released his first solo album in 1976 -- after spending the '50s, '60s and early '70s in various groups, playing everything from rockabilly and pop to jazz and country -- and in the years since has earned numerous gold and platinum certifications and No. 1 songs. Therefore, Rogers says, he'll walk away from his career with no regrets.

“It might be a terrible thing to say, but I feel like I’ve done everything I set out to do,” he explains. “I don’t really have any challenges unless I want to go out and compete with new country, and I don’t have any desire to do that.”

Rogers is currently on the road, on his annual Christmas tour, which will wrap up in late December; he also released a new holiday album, Once Again, It's Christmas, this year. On Wednesday (Nov. 2), the legendary artist will be presented with the Artist of a Lifetime Award at the 2015 CMT Artists of the Year ceremony.

See Kenny Rogers' + More Country Stars' Yearbook Pictures