Kenny Rogers has had a career most artists can only dream of and he got to cross one more item off his bucket list with his induction into the Music City Walk of Fame.
The Oak Ridge Boys had the honor of officially welcoming their the legendary star into the famed walkway across from the Country Music Hall of Fame, which he also became a member of in 2013. “We’ve learned more from Kenny Rogers over these decades than anybody else in the music industry,” the Oak Ridge Boys’ Joe Bonsall said about their longtime friend. The two country acts spent many years touring together, most notably on the 1979 Full House Tour with Rogers and Dottie West, performing for sold-out crowds night after night in 90 cities. He explained how Rogers taught them how to find quality songs, put on remarkable shows and above all, how to treat people with respect and embody a sense of integrity.
“Everything we did out there, we learned from Kenny Rogers and that’s a fact,” Bonsall said, becoming emotional discussing how when the “Elvira” singers were invited to be in the Country Music Hall of Fame, they knew without hesitation who they wanted to do the honor of inducting them. “There was only one person we could think of…Kenny Rogers,” he said humbly. “Kenny was there…our friendship with Kenny knows no bounds.”
Rogers was equally as humbled to accept the honor from his dear friends, saying that getting a star on the Music City Walk of Fame further solidifies his place in Nashville. “Everything today is very special to me,” Rogers said. “This here represents my acceptance in Nashville like the Country Music Hall of Fame does.”
Over his multi-decade career, Rogers has been decorated with CMA, ACM and Grammy Awards and recalls his performance on the Ed Sullivan Show and scoring his first No. 1 album with his self-titled 1977 release as just some of the accomplishments he’s most proud of. “I’ve accomplished a lot more than I ever thought I would and probably ever should have,” he said, calling his life “hectic and blessed.” “But it’s really been a great career and a great life.”
The legend received a star-studded send-off with the All in For The Gambler show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, which featured acts ranging from Chris Stapleton to Lionel Richie and a final performance of “Islands in the Stream” with fellow icon Dolly Parton.