Kenny Rogers Blames “New Country” on His Retirement


Kenny Rogers officially announced his retirement on September 25th, along with a final farewell tour, as part of an interview on NBC’s Today Show. At the time, Rogers cited wanting to spend more time with his 11-year-old twin boys, and not being able to get around the stage due to limited mobility as the primary reasons he was deciding to call it quits. The 77-year-old has certainly had his fair share off successes in his long career, and was recently inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. But now we’re finding out there’s much more to Kenny Rogers’ motivations to quit performing.

“I think country music is whatever country people will buy,” Rogers said, when asked by Variety how country music is currently doing. “And I think people don’t buy certain kinds of country anymore. So what happens is that in their efforts to do something different, to set themselves apart from me and the other guys before me, they took it to a different place. Country is very healthy right now they’re bringing in a lot of kids. But it’s not a type of music that I prefer or that I would want to do, and that’s why I’m getting out.”

Of course some would cite Kenny Rogers’ crossover efforts, or the fact that he started in rock as one of the precursors to country music going off course. But even those folks can’t compare Kenny’s classic output to what is called country music today.

Kenny also said that spending time with his family, and a sense that he’s accomplished everything he wanted to in country were also contributing factors to deciding to retire. Attempting to chase the newest country trends like some older artists can be seen doing is something Kenny is just not interested in. “It might be a terrible thing to say, but I feel like I’ve done everything I set out to do,” he says. “I don’t really have any challenges unless I want to go out and compete with new country, and I don’t have any desire to do that.”