Kenny Rogers Retiring After Christmas Tour

Kenny Rogers is retiring. The country music legend will hang up his microphone after his next tour ends. Rogers is perhaps best known for the classic hit “The Gambler.”

During an appearance on the Today show, Kenny Rogers’ retirement announcement was uttered to the surprise of fans, Rolling Stone notes. Rogers had more 120 songs hit the music charts in multiple music genres. He topped both the country and pop charts for more than 200 weeks in the United States and sold over 100 million records worldwide.

“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 said.

Rogers, 77, has three adult children from his previous marriages and a set of 11-year-old twin boys with his current and fifth wife, Wanda.

“I am gonna hang it up. I’ve done it long enough. I thought I would go out with a flurry,” Kenny said. “I have had a really good time. Make it a world tour.”

The country music legend began his singing career during the 1950s. His first band was called the Scholars, the Guardian reports. The rockabilly band did not achieve much success. Rogers’ star began to shine in 1967, when he helped found the First Edition.

With the new band, Kenny Rogers experienced several hit songs, including “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town” and “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In.” In 1976 Kenny Rogers went solo and became an international country music star. His songs “Lucille,” “The Gambler,” and “Coward of the County” were huge hits. In 2013, Rogers was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Kenny Rogers will begin his annual Christmas tour on November 11. The retiring country music legend will hit 26 cities along the East Coast and in Canada. The tour will end on December 23.

The singer released his sixth holiday album today as the retirement announcement went viral. The final Rogers album, Once Again It’s Christmas, includes both new original songs and popular standards and duets with Jennifer Nettles, Alison Krauss, and Home Free. The Time Jumpers are also featured on a special Cracker Barrel edition of the album.

Rogers is planning on releasing another photography book. His first book, released in 1987, was entitled, Your Friends and Mine. The book featured portrait images of celebrities such as Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Simon, and Clint Eastwood.

The retirement project will reportedly focus upon landscape photos.

“There are probably 550 pictures, so there will be at least two books,” Rogers said. “One will be called American Beauty, and it’s all waterfalls and beautiful canyon shots. It’s really spectacular. And the other will be places I’ve been and things I’ve seen, and it’ll be pictures from China, Africa, Europe, Switzerland — over the Alps in a helicopter.”

In 2014, the country music singer was awarded an honorary master’s degree from the Professional Photographers of America.

[Image via: Featureflash/]