Kenny Rogers

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Garth Shaw & Kenny Rogers on location for Coward Of The County - 1981
Garth Shaw & Kenny Rogers on location for Coward Of The County - 1981

Kenny Rogers, one of country music's legendary icon, is also a songwriter, record producer, actor, photographer and a businessman. He has received numerous accolades which includes American Music Awards, Country Music Association awards, Academy of Country Music awards and Grammy awards. Aside from making music, he also starred in different movies. Kenny Rogers is still active in music, recently released his album Water and Bridges where the single Calling Me, a duet with Don Henley, was nominated for a Grammy.

Contents

About

Born Kenneth Donald Rogers on August 21, 1938 in Houston, Texas. He grew up in the poorest section of Houston and out of the eight siblings, he was the first one to graduate from secondary education in Jefferson Davis High School. He tool interest in music during his high school years and joined a doo-wop group called The Scholars. After releasing three singles, including Kangewah, they disbanded. Kenny Rogers however managed to move on, releasing two singles after he graduated from high school under an independent label, Carlton. The B-side of the single, That Crazy Feeling became a hit that landed him a spot on American Bandstand.

He joined a couple of bands before he became a successful solo artist namely, The Bobby Doyle Trio as a jazz player, Kirby Stone Four, New Christy Minstrels and The First Edition (renamed as Kenny Rogers and The First Edition). The group had a couple of hits including, Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town, , Tell It All Brother, Something's Burning, Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) and Reuben James. The group disbanded in mid-70's and Kenny Rogers decided to make it big as a solo artist.

He released string of country hits including, Don't Fall In Love With a Dreamer, Lucille, We've Got Tonight, Through the Years, Lady and Islands in the Stream. He also took part in recording the hit song We Are The World in support for the victims of famine in Africa.

In late 1970s, he has earned more than a hundred million worth of records but the 80s didn't end up the way the previous year did. He chartered a bit lower than his previous singles and decided to take a time off his singing career and concentrated on acting. He starred in a TV-movie The Gambler (from his 1979 hit song The Gambler) which led to 4 sequels that are as equally successful. In addition, he also starred in Six Pack, Coward of the Country and Christmas in America. He also published three books about photography and even opened his own fast-food chain, the Kenny Rogers Roasters.

He has released albums alost every year but was unsucessful in breaking in to the charts. In 2006, he released his latest album, Water and Bridges where its single, I Can't Unlove You peaked at the 17th spot. His latest single, Calling Me, a duet with Don Henley was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2007.

Awards & Certifications

Awards Won

Year Award Category
1999 Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award
1985 American Music Award Favorite Country Album for "Eyes That See in the Dark"
1985 American Music Award Favorite Country Male Artist
1985 American Music Award Favorite Country Single for "Islands in the Stream" shared with Dolly Parton
1984 Academy of Country Music Award Vocal Duet of the Year shared with Dolly Parton
1984 Academy of Country Music Award Single Record of the Year for "Islands in the Stream" shared with Dolly Parton
1984 American Music Award Favorite Country Single for "Islands in the Stream" shared with Dolly Parton
1983 Award of Merit
1983 American Music Award Favorite Country Male Artist
1983 American Music Award Favorite Country Single for "Love Will Turn You Around"
1982 American Music Award Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist
1982 American Music Award Favorite Country Album for Greatest Hits
1982 American Music Award Favorite Pop/Rock Album for Greatest Hits
1981 American Music Award Favorite Country Single for "Coward of the County"
1981 American Music Award Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist
1981 American Music Award Favorite Country Album for The Gambler
1981 American Music Award Favorite Country Male Artist
1980 Grammy Award Best Country Vocal Performance - Male for "The Gambler"
1980 American Music Award Favorite Country Male Artist
1980 American Music Award Favorite Country Album for The Gambler
1979 Academy of Country Music Award Entertainer of the Year
1979 Academy of Country Music Award Male Vocalist of the Year
1979 American Music Award Favorite Country Album for Ten Years of Gold
1979 American Music Award Favorite Country Male Artist
1979 Country Music Association Award Vocal Duo of the Year shared with Dottie West
1979 Country Music Association Award Album of the Year for The Gambler
1979 Country Music Association Award Male Vocalist of the Year
1978 Country Music Association Award Vocal Duo of the Year shared with Dottie West
1978 American Music Award Favorite Country Single for "Lucille"
1978 Grammy Award Best Country Vocal Performance - Male for "Lucille"
1978 Academy of Country Music Award Album of the Year for Kenny Rogers
1978 Academy of Country Music Award Male Vocalist of the Year
1978 Academy of Country Music Award Single Record of the Year for "Lucille"
1978 Academy of Country Music Award Song of the Year for "Lucille"
1977 Country Music Association Award Single of the Year for "Lucille"

Awards Nominated

Year Award Category
2007 Grammy Award Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for "Calling Me" shared with Don Henley
2000 Country Music Association Award Single of the Year for "Buy Me a Rose"
1990 Academy of Country Music Award Video of the Year for "Planet Texas"
1988 Grammy Award Best Country Vocal Performance, Duet for "Make No Mistake, She's Mine" shared with Ronnie Milsap
1987 Golden Globe Best Original Song - Motion Picture (from movie "Tough Guys" (1986)) for "They Don't Make Them Like They Used to" shared with Burt Bacharach; Carole Bayer Sager
1986 Country Music Association Award Vocal Duo of the Year shared with Dolly Parton
1986 Grammy Award Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for "Real Love" shared with Dolly Parton
1985 Country Music Association Award Vocal Duo of the Year shared with Dolly Parton
1985 Academy of Country Music Award Male Vocalist of the Year
1984 American Music Award Favorite Country Male Artist
1984 American Music Award Favorite Country Band/Duo/Group shared with Dolly Parton
1984 Grammy Award Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for "Islands in the Stream" shared with Dolly Parton
1984 Grammy Award Best Country Vocal Performance - Male for "All My Life"
1984 Country Music Association Award Single of the Year for "Islands in the Stream" shared with Dolly Parton
1984 Country Music Association Award Vocal Duo of the Year shared with Dolly Parton
1984 Juno Award International Single of the Year for "Islands in the Stream" shared with Dolly Parton
1982 Academy of Country Music Award Album of the Year for "Love Will Turn You Around"
1982 Grammy Award Best Country Vocal Performance - Male for "Love Will Turn You Around"
1982 Academy of Country Music Award Entertainer of the Year
1982 Academy of Country Music Award Single Record of the Year for "Love Will Turn You Around"
1982 Grammy Award Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for "What Are We Doing in Love" shared with Dottie West
1982 Academy of Country Music Award Entertainer of the Year
1982 Academy of Country Music Award Male Vocalist of the Year
1981 American Music Award Favorite Country Album for "Ten Years of Gold"
1981 American Music Award Favorite Country Single for "Don't Fall in Love with a Dreamer" shared with Kim Carnes
1981 Grammy Award Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for "Don't Fall in Love with a Dreamer" shared with Kim Carnes
1981 Grammy Award Best Pop Vocal Performance - Male for "Lady"
1981 Grammy Award Record of the Year for "Lady"
1981 Country Music Association Award Entertainer of the Year
1981 Country Music Association Award Male Vocalist of the Year
1981 Juno Award International Album of the Year for "Greatest Hits"
1981 Academy of Country Music Award Vocal Duet of the Year shared with Kim Carnes
1981 Academy of Country Music Award Male Vocalist of the Year
1981 Academy of Country Music Award Entertainer of the Year
1981 Academy of Country Music Award Album of the Year for "Greatest Hits"
1980 Academy of Country Music Award Single Record of the Year for "Coward of the County"
1980 Academy of Country Music Award Male Vocalist of the Year
1980 Academy of Country Music Award Entertainer of the Year
1980 Academy of Country Music Award Album of the Year for Kenny
1980 Academy of Country Music Award Song of the Year for "She Believes in Me"
1980 American Music Award Favorite Country Band/Duo/Group shared with Dottie West
1980 Country Music Association Award Single of the Year for "Coward of the Country"
1980 Country Music Association Award Male Vocalist of the Year
1980 Country Music Association Award Album of the Year for Kenny
1980 Grammy Award Album of the Year for The Gambler
1980 Grammy Award Record of the Year for The Gambler
1980 Grammy Award Best Country & Western Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for "All I Ever Need Is You"

shared with Dottie West

1980 Grammy Award Best Pop Vocal Performance - Male for "She Believes in Me"
1980 American Music Award Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist
1980 Country Music Association Award Entertainer of the Year
1979 Country Music Association Award Single of the Year for "The Gambler"
1979 Country Music Association Award Entertainer of the Year
1979 Academy of Country Music Award Album of the Year for Everytime Two Fools Collide shared with Dottie West
1979 Academy of Country Music Award Song of the Year for The Gambler
1979 Academy of Country Music Award Vocal Group of the Year shared with Dottie West
1979 Grammy Award Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for "Anyone Who Isn't Me Tonight" shared with Dottie West
1979 Grammy Award Best Country Vocal Performance - Male for "Love or Something Like It"
1978 Country Music Association Award Entertainer of the Year
1978 Country Music Association Award Male Vocalist of the Year
1978 American Music Award Favorite Country Male Artist
1978 Academy of Country Music Award Entertainer of the Year
1977 Country Music Association Award Entertainer of the Year
1977 Country Music Association Award Male Vocalist of the Year
1977 Country Music Association Award Album of the Year for Kenny Rogers

Certifications

Year Certification Album
2004 Gold 42 Ultimate Hits
March 1999 Diamond Award Greatest Hits

Chart Toppers

Year Title Hot Country Songs Billboard Hot 100 Hot Country Singles & Tracks Adult Contemporary US Pop
2007 Calling Me 53 ~ ~ ~ ~
2006 I Can't Unlove You 17 93 ~ ~ ~
2006 The Last Ten Years (Superman) 56 ~ ~ ~ ~
2003 Handprints On The Wall ~ ~ 40 ~ ~
2003 I'm Missing You ~ ~ 49 ~ ~
2002 Harder Cards ~ ~ 47 ~ ~
2001 Beautiful (All The You Could Be) ~ ~ 47 ~ ~
2001 Homeland ~ ~ 39 ~ ~
2001 There You Go Again ~ ~ 26 ~ ~
2000 Buy Me a Rose US Pop #40, C&W #1 ~ ~ 1 ~ 40
2000 He Will, She Knows ~ ~ 32 ~ ~
1999 Slow Dance More ~ ~ 67 ~ ~
1999 The Greatest ~ ~ 26 ~ ~
1997 Mary, Did You Know ~ ~ 55 ~ ~
1992 If You Want To Find Love ~ ~ 11 ~ ~
1991 Lay My Body Down ~ ~ 69 ~ ~
1990 If I Knew Then What I Know Now ~ ~ ~ 10 ~
1990 Maybe ~ ~ 25 ~ ~
1989 Planet Texas ~ ~ 25 ~ ~
1989 The Vows Go Unbroken (Always True To You) ~ ~ 8 ~ ~
1988 The Factory ~ ~ 6 ~ ~
1988 When You Put Your Heart In It ~ ~ 26 17 ~
1987 Make No Mistake, She's Mine ~ ~ 1 42 ~
1987 I Prefer The Moonlight ~ ~ 2 ~ ~
1987 Twenty Years Ago ~ ~ 2 15 ~
1986 Goodbye Marie ~ ~ 47 ~ ~
1986 Morning Desire ~ 72 1 8 ~
1986 The Pride Is Back ~ ~ 46 30 ~
1986 They Don't Make Then Like They Used To ~ ~ 53 10 ~
1986 Tomb Of The Unknown Love ~ ~ 1 ~ ~
1985 Crazy ~ 79 1 5 ~
1985 Love Is What We Make It ~ ~ 37 ~ ~
1985 The Greatest Gift Of All ~ 81 ~ ~ ~
1985 Twentieth Century Fool ~ ~ 57 ~ ~
1984 Buried Treasure ~ ~ 3 ~ ~
1984 Evening Star/Midsummer Nights ~ ~ 11 ~ ~
1984 Eyes That See In The Dark ~ 79 30 4 ~
1984 This Woman ~ 23 ~ 2 ~
1984 What About Me ~ ~ 70 ~ ~
1984 You Were A Good Friend ~ ~ 20 ~ ~
1983 We've Got Tonight ~ ~ 1 2 6
1983 Islands in the Stream ~ ~ 1 1 1
1983 Scarlet Fever ~ ~ 50 ~ ~
1983 All My Life ~ ~ ~ 2 37
1982 A Love Song ~ ~ ~ 10 47
1981 Through the Years ~ ~ 5 1 13
1981 Blaze of Glory ~ ~ ~ 25 66
1980 Don't Fall In Love With a Dreamer ~ ~ ~ 2 4
1980 Lady ~ ~ ~ 1 1
1980 Love the World Away ~ ~ ~ 8 14
1979 Coward of the County ~ ~ 1 5 3
1979 You Decorated My Life ~ ~ 1 2 7
1979 She Believes In Me ~ ~ 1 1 5
1978 The Gambler ~ ~ 1 3 16
1977 Lucille ~ ~ 1 5 10
1977 Sweet Music Man ~ ~ ~ 8 44
1976 Love Lifted Me ~ ~ ~ 97 ~
1971 Someone Who Cares ~ ~ ~ 4 51
1970 Something's Burnin' ~ ~ ~ ~ 11
1970 Tell It All Brother ~ ~ ~ 8 17
1969 But You Know I Love You ~ ~ ~ 18 19
1968 Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) ~ ~ ~ ~ 5

Discography

Albums

Compilations & Live Releases

Other artists

Similar artists

Influences

Contemporaries

Trivia

  • In 1980 Kenny Rogers wanted to do a soul album and was hoping to get some famous R&B groups to back him up. One night between shows in Las Vegas, Bob Smith - the Riviera's stage manager - came to the dressing room and told me that Lionel Richie and The Commodores were downstairs and wanted to see Kenny. I brought them up and they told Kenny they were his biggest fans. Lionel had written a song for Kenny and wanted to play it for him. Kenny said he'd love to hear it and Lionel walked over to the upright piano. It was a magical moment. The song was "Lady" and the rest is history. "Lady" was on Kenny's Greatest Hits without having been on any other album. This set a precedent in country music which everyone has since copied. -- Garth Shaw
  • He appeared in the music video and sang in the choir on the song "Voices That Care" song "We Are The World."
  • He appeared as himself in an episode of Reno 911 on Comedy Central
  • Is a well-respected photographer; was invited to the White House to create a portrait of First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton for the 1993 CBS-TV special, A Day in the Life of Country Music in 1993.
  • He has had hair transplants, and also appeared in testimonial advertising for them.
  • He is the official spokesperson for Barona Casino and Resort, in San Diego, CA.
  • Established the Athens Area Homeless Shelter in 1990 in Georgia.
  • Named "Favorite Singer of All Time" in a 1986 "PM Magazine/USA Today" poll.
  • Voted "Favorite Male Vocalist" in 1989 by "People" magazine readers.
  • He is a fan of the Detroit Tigers.
  • Was awarded the Recording Industry Association of America's prestigious Diamond Award, celebrating sales of more than 10 million albums for his "Greatest Hits" album.
  • His high school vocal group's original song "That Crazy Feeling" landed them a spot on television's "Bandstand" in 1952.
  • On a lark, he once performed as himself as part of the "Legends In Concert" impersonators show at the Imperial Palace Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. He sang the duet Islands In the Stream with the Dolly Parton impersonator. Several people from the audience interviewed after the show didn't realize that he was the real thing.
  • Identical twin sons, Justin Charles (6 pounds, 10 ounces) and Jordan Edward (5 pounds, 8 ounces) were born July 6, 2004 in Atlanta, Georgia. His wife, Wanda, also has an identical twin, and twins also run in Kenny's family.
  • Co-host, with Lorianne Crook, of an infomercial for "Superstars of Country" collection of country music in 2005
  • His duet, Islands in the Stream, with fellow country singer Dolly Parton was ranked the #1 on CMT 100 greatest country duets of all time.

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