Kenny Rogers aka “The Gambler” is a multi-talented man. His songs are iconic, but truth be told, the Country Music Hall of Famer has seen success in every walk of entertainment. He has successfully crossed genres, blending jazz, pop, R&B and country, but is loved more for his melodic ballads.
He has released some of the best romantic songs ever like Through The Years and You Are So Beautiful which sounds more affectionate with his signature husky voice. The country music legend recently turned 80 on August 21. Celebrating his birthday month and paying homage to his contribution to the music world, we have a list of some intriguing facts about The Gambler hitmaker.
#6 Respected Photographer
In addition to being one of the greatest country music singers of all time and winning a number of accolades in the last few decades, Kenny Rogers has also branched out into photography. He has published 3 photography books namely Kenny Rogers’ America (1986), Your Friends and Mine (1987) and This is My Country (2005). He was even invited to the White House for a 1991 CBS-TV special to create a portrait of then First Lady Hillary Clinton. He also received an honorary master of photography degree from Professional Photographers of America at its annual conference on January 14, 2014.
#5. Played Tennis for Ten Years
He has made a mark as a singer, author, entrepreneur and what not? He is also a tennis ace. He said in an interview,
I played tennis for 10 years, eight hours a day every day and developed a national ranking while I was on the road playing with Wimbledon champions. I have tennis rackets that some of these guys have signed, and I want to put them in as well.
He was obsessed with tennis so much so that he even got some tennis pros to travel with him on the road. Talk about obsession!
#4. Great Interior Designer
Without a doubt, Rogers holds the jack-of-all-trades card in his hands. He has also dabbled into interior designing. In 2003, he started Kenji Design Studio, an interior design firm in Atlanta with Jim Weinberg. They scored some major contracts, including designing the graphics, model units, common spaces and employee uniforms at Trump Towers Atlanta. Rogers has admitted that he is a self-taught designer and has done 20 houses of his own. Is there anything this man can’t do?
#3. Plastic Surgery Regret
Unlike many other celebrities, Rogers admits that he went under the knife to enhance his looks. But, he got disappointed with the results of botched eyelid lift. He wanted to look as young as his wife but told People magazine in 2006 that the surgery made it too tight around his eyelids. Rogers’ wife, Wanda, says he looks great though and it’s hard not to agree with her.
#2. Relationship with Dolly Parton
Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton have become the gold standard for country duet magic since they released their no.1 hit, Islands in the Streams, in 1983. Many of us might think that if they can make great music together, they would definitely have made a great couple. Their chemistry and amazing collaborations for years made people think what didn’t work between them. Kenny has admitted that they flirted for three decades, but never became a couple.
In an interview on Today, the two talked to Dylan Dreyer detailing the reason behind ditching the idea of becoming an item. "I'm a believer that tension is better if you keep it than if you satisfy it,'' Rogers said. "And then secondly, she said no to me." Parton, on the other hand, said that the two were like brother and sister and that being in a relationship would have been like incest.
#1. Albums and Accolades
Starting off a music career in the late 50s, Rogers has released 65 albums, more than 120 hit singles and sold over 165 million records. His two albums The Gambler and Kenny, are considered to be some of the most influential country albums of all time. Throughout the years, he has banked a decent net worth of $250 million and several accolades too. He has earned numerous awards, including the AMAs, Grammys, Academy of Country Music Awards, and Country Music Association Awards.
For his incredible career spanning over six decades, he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003 and was also inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013. In December 2015, he embarked on a tour, The Gambler’s Last Deal. However, it was cut short in 2018 after he went through a “series of health issues.” The tour was to be his farewell tour as he wished to spend more time with his wife of over 20 years, Wanda Miller, and their twin boys, Jordan and Justin.
What do you like the most about the Gambler, Kenny Rogers? Tell us in the comments below.