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Kenny Rogers' Life and Music under the Spotlight in New 'CMT GIANTS' Benefit Special for COVID-19

Busayo Ogunjimi
Apr 04, 2020
10:30 P.M.
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CMT announces tribute for late country star Kenny Rogers as an uplifting celebration of the icon's extraordinary life — "CMT Giants Kenny Rogers: A Benefit for MusiCares."


CMT has announced a new special to spotlight and remember the life and music of the late icon, Kenny Rogers.

The tribute will feature at-home performances by Kenny's frequent collaborators. The executive producer of CMT, Margaret Comeaux,  said:

"Kenny Rogers transcended genres and generations with his musical versatility... we're honored to pay tribute to his legacy."

Country music icon Kenny Rogers, responsible for hit albums such as "Kenny" and "Eyes That See in the Dark," posing for a portrait in 1979 in Los Angeles, California. | Photo: Getty Images


The announcement revealed that the special would premiere on Wednesday, April 8. The tribute would feature special virtual performances and interviews from Rogers' superstar friends.

These performers would include Dolly Parton, Gavin DeGraw, Lady Antebellum, Lionel Richie, and more, all filmed remotely from their homes.


The recordings would then be blended alongside rare archival photos and other media of the late country music legend.

The franchise began in 2006 and aimed to honor and celebrate the country's most legendary artists. The 2006 edition launched with a celebration of Reba McEntire.

The tribute was one way Dolly and Rogers' other friends could remember and celebrate the icon's amazing life.


The special would celebrate not only Rogers' music but also do something he would have loved to do if he was still alive — it would double as a fundraiser for the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund. 

The Relief Fund was an initiative established to assist musicians and others in their music industry who were affected by the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic. Comeaux revealed:

"Particularly in these turbulent times, we'll...allow the memory of our dear friend Kenny to...inspire us to lend support to those...who are in need."


While watching, the viewers would be able to make donations directly via the MusiCares website. Half of the money raised would then directly benefit members of the Nashville music community who have been affected by COVID-19.

Kenny Rogers died on Friday, March 20, at the age of 81 from natural causes at home in Georgia, surrounded by his family.

The icon's family revealed that a small scale burial would be planned for him. Due to the pandemic, they would not be entertaining a large audience at the time.

On hearing the news, Dolly Parton took to Twitter to express her grief the morning following his death. She described Rogers as a true friend, saying that one never knew how much they loved somebody until they were gone. 

The tribute was one way Dolly and Rogers' other friends could remember and celebrate the icon's amazing life.


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