On This Day: Kenny Rogers ‘Greatest Hits’ Album Tops Charts in 1980

by Jennifer Shea

Forty years ago today, country legend Kenny Rogers’ second compilation album, “Greatest Hits,” made it to the top of country charts.

‘Greatest Hits’ Reaches No. 1

“Greatest Hits” hit No. 1 on both the pop and country charts when it was released in 1980. The album was certified diamond. It sold more than 24 million copies globally.

Further, over the course of his career, Rogers produced 24 No. 1 hits. He won 13 American Music Awards, six CMA Awards and three Grammy Awards. He also received the CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award and the CMT Artist of a Lifetime Award, per The Wrap. And he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013.

Rogers also won the distinction of “Favorite Singer of All Time” in a poll of readers of USA Today and People.

Kenny Rogers Retired Just in Time

Rogers died in March of 2020 at the age of 81. He died of natural causes, TMZ reported. He was under hospice care at the time of his passing.

“I didn’t want to take forever to retire,” Rogers said in a statement about his farewell tour in 2018, which he had to cut short due to health issues. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity to say farewell to the fans over the course of the past two years on ‘The Gambler’s Last Deal’ tour. I could never properly thank them for the encouragement and support they’ve given me throughout my career.”

Country superstar Dolly Parton recorded the hit song “Islands in the Stream” with Rogers. And she said she was heartbroken at Rogers’ passing.

“I know that we all know that Kenny’s in a better place than we are today,” she said. “But I’m for sure he’s going to be talking to God sometime today if he’s ain’t already, and going to be asking him to spread some light onto this darkness going on here. But I loved Kenny with all my heart and my heart’s broken and a big ol’ chunk has gone with him today.”