Whether making country, psychedelia, pop or folk, Kenny Rogers brought charm, emotional insight and brilliant storytelling to American music
Seven years ago, Kenny Rogers was interviewed by the Guardian. He was about to play Glastonbury, a turn of events by which he seemed utterly perplexed. He suggested the audience might know his music because their parents had played it when they were kids, “which,” he chuckled, “probably counts as child abuse”.
But by then he’d got used to unlikely things happening in his career. There was the gig he played at the Bonnaroo festival in the US the previous year. At an event that had also featured Radiohead, Skrillex, Bon Iver and Kendrick Lamar, Rogers had received some of the best reviews; one critic felt moved to call Rogers’ appearance “the performance of a lifetime”.