A man of humility, humor, and hard work, the legacy of Kenny Rogers lives on long after his passing. The star built a Country empire over his career that spanned 6 decades. Throughout that time, he prioritized his fans and family just as much as his music.
He lived long enough to enjoy the fruits of his labor and several of the highest music accolades known to man. This is before succumbing to natural causes and dying peacefully in March of 2020 at the age of 81 under the care of hospice and surrounded by family, as told by his loved ones through Twitter.
One of his greatest honors involved accepting a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame back in 1979 on this very day so many decades ago. Join us as we take a look back at some of Kenny Rogers’ greatest achievements.
Kenny Rogers: The Accolades
Kenny Rogers never strictly stuck to one particular genre. In fact, his career often mixed folk, rock, and country sounds. He found himself influenced by jazz, pop, and doo-wop as well. His career took him down a few different paths, experimenting with different groups and projects over the years. He didn’t just stick to music, either. Actually, Kenny Rogers turned into a veteran TV performer and actor. His induction to the Hollywood Walk of Fame hardly stands out amongst the truckload of accolades Rogers picked up over the years. Still, it remains a milestone marker when reflecting on the earlier portion of his career.
The Walk of Fame official site states that Rogers charted more than 120 hit singles across various music genres. Moreover, he topped the country and pop album charts for more than 200 individual weeks in the United States alone. Consequently, awarding him a star on the Walk of Fame in 1979 was a no-brainer really.
After 15 Grammy Award nominations, 25 CMA nominations, and 23 AMA nominations, Kenny Rogers announced his retirement in 2015. Still, this assortment of awards didn’t even begin to scratch the surface of all that he accomplished. The Country Music Hall of Fame inducted Rogers as a member in 2013, citing his “distinctive, husky voice” as a factor.
To pay tribute to the star after his passing, CBS created Kenny Rogers: All In For The Gambler. The special is scheduled to air on Thursday, September 23rd, and will be made available on-demand via Paramount+ afterward.
Artists including Chris Stapleton, Idina Menzel, Lady A, Lionel Richie, Little Big Town, and Reba McEntire confirmed their plans to perform. Taking place at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, the special’s focus remains on his musical career. However, the show also includes stories about the star’s personal life.
Kenny Rogers is survived by his wife Wanda Rogers; a daughter, Carole Lynne Billingsley; sons Kenneth Ray Rogers II, Christopher Cody Rogers, and twins Justin Charles and Jordan Edward Rogers. Coming from a rather large family actually, Rogers is also survived by two brothers, a sister, several grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.