Hearts were breaking around the world when Kenny Rogers announced he would be kicking off his farewell tour this past spring. But since May 2016, the country icon has been traveling like crazy to give his fans one more glimpse and one more listen of his silvery hair and the gravelly goodness of his voice.
You may be asking yourself, if Kenny is on such a physically ambitious tour, then why is this his last? Unfortunately, it’s the physical part that is taking its toll on the handsome icon.
In an interview with “USA Today” last spring, he said, “I’m 77 years old. I’m in good health now, but my mobility has suffered really badly. I honestly don’t know how much longer I’m gonna last. So I wanted to get out there while I could still sing well.” Kenny is mentally sharp as a tack, so he found a way to incorporate his physical limitations into the banter of his show.
During a performance in Grand Prairie, Texas, Kenny sat down after his opening number to chat with the incredibly enthusiastic audience. He joked that he had gone through knee replacement surgery but wondered if the doctors had replace the wrong knee. He also compared himself to other performers in his age range including Willie Nelson and Mick Jagger who had much more mobility than he had. Kenny chuckled and joked with the crowd, “I didn’t do enough drugs in the ’60s.”
Still, with a little assistance from Linda Davis, who is, as you know, the mother of Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott, as well as the former “Does He Love You” duet partner to Reba McEntire, Kenny pulls off a complete show that covers his decades as one of the world’s most talented entertainers.
It should be said that the primary reason that Kenny has said he is retiring from the road is that he does have twin 12-year-old boys at home who he would like to watch grow up. At that age, they’re probably more exhausting than a world tour!
The Gambler’s Last Deal is underway and expected to wrap in April of 2017. He’ll also be hosting his annual holiday tour this winter.
Maybe he’ll be like George Strait and still release music! We can only hope.