“Well you know it’s kind of happily sad or sadly happy. I’m going to do a big worldwide tour, and it’s going to be my last. I’m going to say goodbye at that point. I’ve done this long enough.”
This was the news from Country Music Hall of Famer Kenny Rogers this morning on The Today Show when he stopped by the set to promote his new Christmas album, Once Again It’s Christmas. After over 100 million albums sold worldwide, over 120 charted singles in country and other genres, a badass role in the 1982 racing film Six Pack, and a semi-failed chain of Kenny Rogers Roasters chicken restaurants, The Gambler is bidding his career adieu.
Kenny says wanting to spend more time with his two twin boys was a big part of his decision.
“I wrote in my book that sometimes there’s a fine line between being driven and being selfish,” Kenny said. “And I think I crossed that line when I was younger. And I really want to be there with my kids and my wife. They’re very important to me, and I don’t see enough of them. That was kind of my goal … This is my 50-somthingth year in the business, and I’ve achieved everything I set out to achieve. And I have identical twin boys that are 11-years-old, and a lot of the stuff that I’m doing requires that I be gone from home, and I miss them.”
“I took them to Africa on a safari. And I want to take them to Alaska for the salmon run,” Rogers continued. “I’ve had certain things that I’ve done in my life that were great fun for me that I think they’ll enjoy, and I want them to remember that I’m with them.”
The 77-year-old Rogers says his mobility is also an issue with continuing to tour and perform.
“I’m sure I will miss it, but I swore that I would do this until I embarrassed myself. And I’m getting to where I don’t walk around well. My mobility is really driving me crazy.”
Rogers insists this will not be just a break from the performing life, but a true retirement.
“I’m going to hang it up. I’ve done it long enough, and I want to go out with a flurry, and have a really good World tour. It sounds egotistical, but people have supported me my whole career, and I feel I owe them a chance to go by and say goodbye for once.”
No word on the dates or locations of Kenny’s farewell tour. He did say his final performance will also be on The Today Show, and he also will embark on an annual Christmas tour in November.
The last location of Kenny Rogers Roasters in the United States located in Ontario, California closed in December of 2011. At one point the franchise boasted over 425 locations national and internationally. Though there are no longer any more locations in North America, there are over 140 of the franchises throughout Asia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.