Legendary singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson has retired. His representatives released a statement Wednesday saying he had quietly stepped away from the spotlight last year.
His son, John Kristofferson, will oversee his father’s music and independent label KK Records, the press release said.
“It’s been amazing to dig in to my dad’s catalog and history with this seasoned group of professionals. MHM and Tamara are experts on everything from old Nashville to the up-and-comers, and I can’t imagine a better partnership to bring the full depth of his songwriting to a new generation,” John Kristofferson said in the release. “The name has always been synonymous with songwriting as an art, and we’re excited to reintroduce his work to new and old fans alike. We have many exciting projects in the works, and I look forward to getting them out into the world.”
The release didn’t say why he was retiring, but the 84-year-old has struggled with memory loss for years. He told Rolling Stone in 2016 that doctors diagnosed him with Lyme disease.
Kris Kristofferson Has Had Illustrious Career
The Texas native had one of the most eclectic and interesting careers of any musician. He was a Rhodes Scholar and a helicopter pilot in the U.S. Military. But after leaving the Army — and turning down a job to teach at West Point — Kristofferson moved to Nashville. While he’s now one of the best-known songwriters in country music history, he was unable to find work in Nashville.
As a last-ditch effort to get noticed, Kristofferson stole a helicopter and landed it on Johnny Cash’s lawn to “get his attention,
Kristofferson recalled. It worked.
Johnny Cash recorded his song “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” and that recording “lifted me out of obscurity,” Kristofferson said.
He has a number of country music hits including “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” and “Once More with Feeling.”
He also had an illustrious career as a movie and television star. His first breakout performance was as Billy the Kid in Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. His most famous role is in the remake of A Star is Born.