Chris Stapleton Tributes Kenny Rogers with Performance of ‘The Gambler’

Kenny Rogers and Chris Stapleton; Photo Courtesy of CBS
Kenny Rogers and Chris Stapleton; Photo Courtesy of CBS
Kenny Rogers and Chris Stapleton; Photo Courtesy of CBS

GRAMMY Award-winning country superstar Kenny Rogers may have died in 2020, but his long-lasting legacy lives on within his timeless music. Tonight, during a two-hour concert special, Chris Stapleton honored the late singer with a tribute performance.

During a star-studded, pre-taped concert event on Thursday (Sept. 23) dubbed Kenny Rogers: All In For The Gambler, Stapleton performed the late country legend’s signature hit, “The Gambler,” while Rogers and his wife Wanda watched and sang along from the side of the stage.

Watch Stapleton’s tribute performance below.

Written by 2017 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Don Schlitz, “The Gambler” is the title track to Rogers’ sixth studio album of the same name. The chart-topping country hit was released in November 1978 and went on to win a GRAMMY-award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance two years later in 1980.

The song also reached the top spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and the 16th spot on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Kenny Rogers: All In For The Gambler also featured tribute performances from Idina Menzel, Lady A, Lionel Richie, Little Big Town and Reba McEntire, who took the stage to perform some of Rogers’ greatest hits, such as “Lady,” “She Believes in Me,” “Through the Years,” “Lucille,” “We’ve Got Tonight” and more.

Rogers’ longtime friend and duet partner, Dolly Parton, also appeared during the star-studded concert event to share some touching memories that she shared with the country icon before performing a series of songs in an emotional finale featuring Rogers himself.

Produced by Blackbird Presents, the two-hour, concert special was filmed in 2017 in honor of his retirement and honored the life and legacy of the late country music legend, who passed away in 2020. Rogers was 81 at the time of his death.

“Kenny Rogers’ enormous impact on country music was matched only by the love all the artists and fans showed Kenny on this incredible night,” said executive producers Keith Wortman and Ken Levitan. “We are so thrilled to share this special with his friends, family and fans all around the world, as he will remain forever in our hearts.”

Kenny Rogers: All In For The Gambler aired on Thursday, Sept. 23 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on CBS and was streamed live and on demand on Paramount+.