WATCH: Lionel Richie Honors Longtime Friend Kenny Rogers with Performance of ‘Lady’

Lionel Richie
Lionel Richie; Photo Courtesy CBS
Lionel Richie

In 1980, Kenny Rogers released one of his most iconic hits, “Lady.” What some people may not know is that music legend Lionel Richie is the man behind the song. 

Richie wrote and produced the chart-topping hit, which went on to become a career-changing record for both artists. 

This marked Richie’s first work outside the Commodores and was a predecessor to his solo career. 

For Rogers, the song, marked his first No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and 10th country chart-topper. 

“I’m used to singing this song with Kenny. So when he said, I want you to come sing ‘Lady,’ and I’m gonna watch ya. What the hell is that?,” Richie laughed prior to his performance. 

Re-live the performance below. 

Kenny Rogers: All In For The Gambler also featured tribute performances from Chris Stapleton, Idina Menzel, Lady A, Little Big Town and Reba McEntire, who took the stage to perform some of Rogers’ greatest hits, such as “The Gambler,” “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+.