Kenny Rogers
Photo by Piper Ferguson

The late, great Kenny Rogers is a musical icon. He has had a long career, winning many awards in the country, pop, and music for individual songs, albums, and as an artist. He would also be inducted into various music halls of fame, cementing his legendary status in the industry.  Here are some of the highlighted performances of the legendary Kenny Rogers over his lifespan.

Kenny Rogers Live By Request

In 2003, Kenny Rogers hosted a live televised performance for an album aptly named ‘Live By Request’ that also mirrored by name, a series on the television network A&E. This series revolved around artists that performed on a televised stage with a live audience, where callers would phone in with their song requests. Between songs and requests, Kenny and host Mark McEwen would provide snippets of banter, discussing Rogers’ history, song choices, unique stories, and other tidbits of information. These collections of songs performed on stage would spawn albums for each artist with the series name being the title for every album. Other notable stars on the series included Tony Bennett and Barry Manilow. 

Kenny Rogers And Lionel Richie Perform ‘Lady’

Kenny Rogers and his good friend Lionel Richie performed together at the CMT Crossroads show. Prior to the stage performance, Rogers would discuss his friendship with Richie, referring to how their professional relationship translated to their personal one. He remarks about the impact and collaboration of R&B being suited well with country music, how they cooperatively produced and performed the song Richie had written, and how their friendship easily formulated soon thereafter. They would perform together on numerous occasions, sharing the stage to the joy of the audience and fans. Most recently in March 2021, Lionel Richie would sing ‘Lady’ at the Grammys as a tribute to his late great friend, commemorating the emotional performance and addressing the camera with a heartfelt, “We miss you”. Their performances on stage will also showcase a true friendship.

Kenny Rogers Poker Performance 

One of Kenny Rogers’ most well-known and iconic songs is ‘The Gambler’. It was released in 1978 and quickly rose to billboard ranking number 1. It had become widely popular and quickly iconic as one of Kenny Rogers’ well-renowned songs. Due to its mainstream success, it was no surprise that it became a cultural hit in the poker scene. The following year, ‘The Gambler’ easily became the official song of the World Series of Poker and it was played throughout the event, becoming the theme song for many poker players. Rogers performed the song on stage at the main event. From the World Series of Poker to other sporting events, movies, and mainstream media, ‘The Gambler” has constantly been the song of choice for card players alike. To this day, his lyrics still echo the basics of any solid poker player. “You gotta know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold’em.” 

Kenny Rogers Performs With Dolly Parton On Tour

When you talk about Kenny Rogers and the many artists he’s had a close friendship with, you cannot leave out Dolly Parton. These two were friends long before they worked together professionally, which occurred in 1983 when they worked together on the song ‘Island in the Stream.’ Together, they performed it upon release in 1983 on stage. This would set the precedence for their future collaborations, as they would continue to do so over the years. In 2005, they would even win the award for a favorite country duet for their song. One of the pair’s most memorable performances came in 2017 in Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, as it was their last performance together on stage. This was at a concert to celebrate the long career of Rogers, with many guests and musicians making an appearance, from Lionel Richie to Reba McEntire. Of course, there would be no better way to commemorate the evening’s festivities than with one of the duo’s most iconic songs to top off the night, where Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers would sing ‘Island in the Stream’ once more. 

Kenny Rogers had an impact on many fans and fellow musicians around him, building personal and professional relationships that will leave many missing the legendary country singer long after his passing. His most memorable performances will continue to have their place in the hearts of his fans. Whether from being searched up by fans to listen on various platforms, or hearing them on television and movies, his songs will still resonate and continue to be played to this day.

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