Your typical Texan, Kenny Rogers was an American country music singer-songwriter, photographer, record producer, actor and entrepreneur. In the 50s, Kenny started his career with a place in The Scholars group as lead singer. After getting a taste of success, Kenny soon decided to go solo, as Kenneth Rogers.
But maybe his move was a little premature, as sales of his first single weren't great. So, he joined a jazz group called The Bobby Doyle Trio, who recorded for Columbia Records. The group disbanded in 1965 and in 1966 Kenny joined the New Christy Minstrels as a singer and double bass player.
Feeling that the Minstrels were not offering the success they wanted, Rogers and fellow members Mike Settle, Terry Williams and Thelma Camacho left the group. They formed The First Edition in 1967 (later renamed Kenny Rogers and The First Edition). They had a string of hits, including Somethings Burning, Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town, Reuben James and Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In).
But it wasn't just music Kenny was known for - as In his hippy style, long brown hair and pink sunglasses also created quite a reputation.
When the group split in 1976, Kenny relaunched his solo career, with a rough but tuneful voiced style that sold to both pop and country audiences. He's since had more than 60 top 40 hits and 50 of his albums have charted. His music has also been featured in top selling movie soundtracks, including The Big Lebowski.
In the late 70s Kenny teamed up with country singer Dottie West for a series of albums and duets. Together the duo had three hit albums, selling out stadiums and arenas while on tour. After her death, in 1995 he starred opposite Michele Lee in the CBS biopic "Big Dreams and Broken Hearts: The Dottie West Story".
Later, in 1980 came his partnership with Lionel Richie who wrote and produced Rogers' hit Lady. He went on to work with the Bee Gees to record and produce his 1983 hit album Eyes That See in the Dark, featuring the title track and yet another #1 hit Islands in the Stream, a duet with Dolly Parton.
Although in the 1990s with the emergence of Garth Brooks, it was noted that this new talent was selling records like no one else had ever in country music, Rogers was nonetheless a dominant force. In the 1990s Rogers continued to chart with singles such as Crazy In Love and If You Want To Find Love. In 1994, Rogers released his "dream" album titled Timepiece on Atlantic Records. It consisted of 30's and 40's jazz standards; it was the type of music he performed in his early days with The Bobby Doyle Three in Houston. In 1996 he released an album Vote For Love where the public requested their favourite love songs and Kenny performed them. Kenny RogersIn the 21st century, Rogers was back at #1 for the first time in almost a decade with the 2000 single Buy Me a Rose, making him, at 61, the oldest artist in the history of country music to reach the chart summit. Rogers held the record until 2003, when then 70-year-old Willie Nelson became the oldest artist to have a No. 1 on the country charts with his duet with Toby Keith, Beer For My Horses.
To date Rogers has recorded 65 albums, won practically every award there is to win, and with well over 120 million records sold, he's the No. 8 best selling artist of all time.