CMT Giants Kenny Rogers: A Benefit for MusiCares brought together Rogers’ friends and fellow artists for a special musical tribute to honor the country icon’s legendary career.
Lady Antebellum performed the classic hit “Islands In The Stream,” a song originally recorded by Rogers and his longtime friend Dolly Parton.
“Kenny Rogers has had so many years of No. 1 hits, for me the very first time I heard his voice as a kid on the radio was ‘Islands In The Stream’ and the duet with Dolly [Parton] was so fun,” Dave Haywood explained. “As a kid so easy to sing along with and it’s so fun for us as Lady to get to perform that song, it’s a big honor for us.”
“When I think of Kenny Rogers, what songs comes to mind? ‘Islands In The Stream,’ that one is a special one just because that was one of the first songs that Charles and I and Dave when we all went out karaoking, before we were even a band.” said Hillary Scott. “That was one of the first songs that we sang together and then we ended up doing it live, gosh probably a hundred times at this point. So Islands In The Stream for sure is one of the first songs that I think of, and then if there was another one it would have to be ‘The Greatest,’ that might be my favorite Kenny Rogers song.”
“Dave, Hillary and I were so excited when we found out that we could do ‘Islands In The Stream.’ That is just one of those songs that as a band we have literally been covering, gosh our whole career,” Charles Kelley explained. “That song is just so special because it opened up such a giant audience to the country music genre, especially by these power duets, for us, it definitely opened the doors like even a song like ‘Need You Now’ to even be considered to cross over into the pop world so it means the world to even be able to put our voices on that song.”
Rogers’ died of natural causes on Friday, March 20 at the age of 81.
The CMT Giants Kenny Rogers: A Benefit for MusiCares also included performances by Jennifer Nettles, Randy Houser, Dolly Parton and more. The broadcast also included rare photos, interviews and performances, with clips and commentary from Kenny Rogers himself.
To learn more or donate to COVID-19 relief in Kenny Rogers’ name, text KENNYCARES to 41444 or visit MUSICARES.ORG/KENNYCARES.