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Entertainer Quickie Bios

Kenny Rogers

"More than any other album I've ever done, There You Go Again, has afforded me both the creative outlet and the opportunity to make new friends and experience their creative talents first hand. It is a conceptual piece from beginning to end. Song for song, it's the most country album I've done in 15 years."

Some of those new, talented friends joining Rogers on his 59th career record include Suzy Bogguss and Billy Dean on the title track. Linda Davis on the stunning duet, "When We Made Love," Brad Paisley on "What That Means," Duane Eddy on "I Won't Forget," and Steve Wariner on "Blue Train." The work's lead single, an uptempo tune entitled "He Will, She Knows," features special guests Collin Raye and Diamond Rio on background vocals. Alison Krauss also lends her musical genius on "I Wish I Could Say That" written by noted songwriters Skip Ewing and James Dean Hicks.

"I tend to want to push some button - happy, pain, loneliness, hope - and if a song moves me, I can usually sing it in such a way that I move someone else," Rogers said. "I try to find songs that every man would like to say and every woman would like to hear - songs that can hold up forever regardless of the performer." Several such gems appear on the disc including, "All That You Could Be," a timeless ballad written by the extremely talented Mike Reid ("I Can't Make You Love Me,") and Rory Bourke; and "Crazy Me," co-written by Richard Marx and Gary Harrison. "Crazy Me," produced by Marx, features both Marx's and Linda Davis' distinct background vocals. Production credits on the album include Kenny Rogers, Richard Marx and Brent Maher.

In 1999, Rogers returned to the top of the charts with his back-to-back hit singles, "The Greatest," and his 22nd Number One hit, "Buy Me A Rose." Both songs captured the #1 slot on CMT's Top 12 Video Countdown and propelled Rogers' She Rides Wild Horses album to platinum status. The disc was the debut project from Rogers' Nashville-based record label, Dreamcatcher Records. "Buy Me A Rose" also yielded Rogers a CMA Single of the Year nomination, his first in 14 years. Rogers performs the song live on the CBS televised show on Oct. 4, 2000.

"The Greatest" struck a chord and touched people in a very special way. It reminded me how simple life used to be... a boy... a bat... and a ball," Rogers said. "This song captures that rare moment in every young kid's life where the game is more important than the score." Penned by Don Schlitz, the same tunesmith that wrote "The Gambler," the song's release coincided with the 20th anniversary of Rogers' signature song. "The Greatest" book, an adaptation of the hit song, was recently published as a fully illustrated, hardcover 32-page children's book with a companion CD.

Similarly, the follow up single, "Buy Me A Rose," a touching ballad about the little things in life that mean so much, garnered an emotional response from coast to coast. Inspired by "Buy Me A Rose," the producers of the CBS Television Network show, Touched By An Angel, built an entire episode of its top-rated series around the song. The segment, broadcast in February 2000, guest starred Kenny Rogers and was the second highest rated Touched By An Angel show of the season.

An American icon, there are few artists of Rogers stature. His phenomenal success as a global entertainer is unique. In the span of nearly five decades, Rogers has recorded 59 albums, which have sold over 100 million records worldwide. In March 1999, the Recording Industry Association of America awarded Rogers the prestigious Diamond Award celebrating sales of more than 10 million albums for his "Greatest Hits" album.

As one of country music's biggest crossover successes, Rogers' numerous accolades include four Grammy Awards, 11 People's Choice Awards, 18 American Music Awards, eight Academy of Country Music Awards and five Country Music Association Awards. In addition, he was named "Favorite Singer of All Time" in a PM Magazine/USA Today poll in 1986, and in 1989 readers of PEOPLE MAGAZINE voted Rogers "Favorite Male Vocalist." Perhaps his most cherished award is also his most personal. In 1990, Rogers was honored with the Horatio Alger Award, given to those who have distinguished themselves despite humble beginnings. For both Rogers and his admirers, his success is all the more remarkable for his having been raised in a Houston public housing project with seven brothers and sisters.

Always rising to meet new artistic and personal challenges, Rogers embarked on yet another exciting endeavor starring in the off-Broadway 1998 theatrical production of, "Christmas from the Heart Featuring the Toy Shoppe.'" Based on an original story written by Rogers and Kelly Junkermann, the musical was presented by Hallmark Entertainment at the historic Beacon Theatre in New York City for a six-week holiday run. Rogers will tour the lavish production for the fourth year this November on an incredible 32-city holiday tour. "The Toy Shoppe" book, the second in a series of beautifully illustrated children's books, will be published in the fall of 2000 with a companion CD.

The original music from the production, featuring 11 new songs co-written by Rogers, was released on Dreamcatcher Records, a division of the artist's newly formed Dreamcatcher Entertainment, Inc. The album was the follow-up holiday release to Rogers' Number One gold album, The Gift, which was nominated for both a Dove Award and for Country Album of the Year by the Gospel Music Association in 1996.

In the meantime, Rogers continues to take his music on the road. His "live" concerts have always been a mainstay of his success and he continues to pack them in not only in the United States, but also in Europe, New Zealand, Africa and the Far East. In April-May, 1998, he performed with Reba McEntire throughout Australia. Rogers embarked on a month-long extensive European concert tour commencing in April 1999 visiting such territories as Poland, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Scotland and England.

Rogers spends a great deal of his time recording and performing, but he has also enjoyed a wonderfully fulfilling career as an actor, and is best known worldwide for his colorful portrayal as THE GAMBLER's Brady Hawkes. Rogers' popular "Gambler" mega-hit recording spawned the longest running mini-series in the history of television in the United States. The five Gambler mini-series has attracted over 100 million viewers nationwide. In addition, Rogers recently guest-starred in an episode of the top-rated CBS series, Touched by an Angel, written especially around Rogers' #1 hit, "Buy Me A Rose." Success of the magnitude of Kenny Rogers brings with it an opportunity to draw some attention to the charitable causes that he champions. After the 1981 death of friend, singer/songwriter Harry Chapin, Rogers assumed his position at the forefront of the movement to aid the hungry. "Access to proper food and nutrition," said Rogers, "is perhaps the most fundamental right of every human being." Thus, the World Hunger Media Awards were created.

In 1985, Rogers participated in the historical recording of "We Are The World," the multi-celebrity performance which raised millions of dollars for famine relief in Africa. A year later, he co-chaired the audacious, "Hands Across America" fund-raiser for America's hungry. Rogers was also instrumental in aiding the hungry in his own backyard in Georgia by establishing the Athens Area Homeless Shelter which opened in 1990.

Between his entertainment and charitable endeavors, Rogers has managed to find the time to become a well-respected photographer. He was invited to the White House to create a portrait of First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton for the CBS TV Special A DAY IN THE LIFE OF COUNTRY MUSIC that aired in 1993. He has also published two well-received photography books: KENNY ROGERS' AMERICA, composed of black and white landscapes, and KENNY ROGERS YOUR FRIENDS AND MINE, a collection of celebrity portraits. He is currently working on a third book highlighting country stars past, present and future, entitled "THIS IS MY COUNTRY."

Kenny Rogers is a man constantly seeking new challenges, new ways to maintain excitement both for himself and his fans. Most of all, he is exactly as he seems; a proud man, but also a sincere, honest one, unfazed by his success and largely unimpressed by his own accomplishments.

Commenting on his latest release, Rogers said, "This group of songs contains my heart and soul. Finishing an album like this brings with it joy and sadness, and the desire to start the next one."

 

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