Kenny Rogers Has ‘Mixed Emotions’ About Farewell Tribute Show
Kenny Rogers will say farewell to his loyal fans on Wednesday night (Oct. 25). That evening, the country icon will be the star of his own tribute show, Kenny Rogers: All in for the Gambler -- and Rogers admits that he has "mixed emotions" about the whole thing.
"You don’t do something for 70 years and just literally walk away from it. But I’m trying to," Rogers shared with The Boot and other reporters. "I hate people that retire 10 times and come back every year. I really don’t want to do that."
Seventy-nine-year-old Rogers acknowledges that he is stepping away from the spotlight more because he has to than because he wants to.
"It’s not fun for me anymore," Rogers concedes. "I think it’s because my mobility has gotten me such that I can’t really get around onstage. So, I do the best I can, and I think musically it’s fine, and people seem to enjoy it, but it’s just embarrassing. It’s not how I’d envisioned me going out."
Understandably, Rogers has spent time reflecting on all of his rich life experiences, and he admits it's bittersweet to think about some of the things he can no longer do.
"I think that my life has been hectic, but blessed," Rogers says. "The thing is, I’m an impulsive obsessive: I impulsively get involved with something, and then I see how good I can get. I played tennis for eight hours a day for eight years, trying to see how good I could get, and I got a national ranking in tennis. So then I couldn’t move well, and I couldn’t play tennis anymore, so I took up photography, and I’m being put into the [International Photography] Hall of Fame next week."
One thing Rogers is looking forward to about retirement is spending more time at home, including with his wife Wanda and their 13-year-old twin sons, Justin and Jordan.
"We have a huge house, and it’s hard for me to get around in," Rogers shares. "We’re thinking about selling our house and buying a smaller house and a larger piece of property so the boys can go outside. They’re at the noise-making age ... They’re into scaring everybody."
Although many of the artists performing at Rogers' tribute concert on Wednesday night are being kept a secret, it has been revealed that Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Chris Stapleton, Lady Antebellum, the Judds, Little Big Town, Alison Krauss, Linda Davis, Jamey Johnson, Broadway star Idina Menzel and pop star Elle King are among those who will take the stage to honor the living legend. However, the act Rogers is most looking forward to performing is the Flaming Lips, whom Rogers only recently discovered.
"Dolly is the highlight of any show she’s on. But there’s a group called Flaming Lips that I can hardly wait to see what song they [choose]," Rogers says. "They were the first people to volunteer to be on. I was so shocked. I looked them up online the other day, and I went, ‘Whoa.’ But, I mean, God bless ‘em, and I love them."
Tickets for All in for the Gambler are sold out. Rogers has a few more shows on his calendar through the end of the year, with his final show scheduled for Dec. 9 in Atlantic City, N.J. Ticketing details and venue information is available on Rogers' website.
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