Kenny Rogers knows when to fold ’em: after nearly 60 years of performing, “The Gambler” singer is calling it quits after his next tour, MSN is reporting.
Appearing on The Today Show last week, the 77-year-old Rogers said that a farewell tour is in the works, and then after that, he’s done.
“I’ve done this long enough. There’s a fine line between being driven and being selfish, and I think I crossed that line when I was younger. I really want to be there with my kids and my wife. I don’t see enough of them. And I have some things on my bucket list.”
Rogers and his wife, Wanda (his fifth), have two kids — 11-year-old twin sons Jordan and Justin, according to the Daily Mail. He also has three other children from previous marriages.
“This is my 50-something year in the business. I have achieved everything I set out to achieve. A lot of the stuff I have been doing requires that I be gone from home. I want them (my sons) to be: ‘I did this with my dad.’ That they did it with me.”
Born in Houston in 1938, Kenny Rogers grew up in poverty in a federal housing project, according to Biography. The fourth of eight children, Kenny got his start in music as a teenager, founding a rockabilly group called The Scholars, and releasing a single, “That Crazy Feeling,” in 1958, performing the song on the popular TV show American Bandstand.
Over the next decade, Rogers experimented with his sound performing in a variety of bands in different genres. At one point in his pre-country career, Kenny Rogers even explored the psychedelic sound of the 1960s with his band, Kenny Rogers and the First Edition. The band scored a hit that remains a staple on classic-rock radio to this day.
Kenny’s career-defining moment would come in 1977 when he reached No. 1 on the country charts with the ballad “Lucille,” which also became a top-5 hit on the pop charts. Firmly established as a country superstar, Kenny Rogers would spend the next five decades churning out country hits — “The Gambler,” “Ruby,” “Coward of the County” — and selling over 100 million records.
Kenny Rogers’ next tour, the Once Again It’s Christmas Tour, begins November 12 in Niagara Falls, Ontario, which will be followed by a farewell tour and his retirement from music.