Kenny Rogers was only 12 years old when he wanted to become a singer.
At the time he didn’t even know if he could sing.
But it was after seeing Ray Charles live in concert he wanted the same.
“Everybody clapped for him after he sang, and they laughed at everything he said. I thought, ‘Oh, that’s gotta make him feel great,’” Kenny Rogers said, reports Sounds Like Nashville.
Rogers sure got the chance to experience the same thing. From his first songs back in the 1950s through to major hits in the ’70s and ’80s that continue on to today, Rogers has sold more than 120 million albums worldwide and has charted a record within each of the last seven decades.
Ray Charles continued to be an influence too. Not only did they work together down the track they became good friends.
“He kind of set a good example for me, and he became a good friend of mine. We worked together many times. I’ve always loved his sincerity, his simplicity, and the things he does.”
Rogers, now 78, is is now in the final stages of his performing career, currently on his farewell tour, The Gambler’s Last Deal.
He announced on September 25, 2015 he was retiring to spend time with his wife and children.