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Kenny Rogers’ Posthumous Album ‘Life Is Like a Song’ Is Coming Soon

By Jessica Nicholson

The project features duets with Dolly Parton, Jamie O'Neal and Kim Keyes.

The late Kenny Rogers‘ first posthumous album, Life Is Like a Song, is set to release June 2 via UMe.

Rogers, who notched a successful career in pop music with the band First Edition in the 1960s and then transitioned into a solo country music career that ultimately earned him membership into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013, died on March 20, 2020, from natural causes at the age of 81.

Life Is Like a Song marks the first non-holiday studio album from Rogers in a decade, and his only non-compilation/non-reissued full-length album to be released on vinyl since 1991. The project will include songs that were deeply personal to the late singer-songwriter, and will be available digitally as well as on CD and vinyl.

Curated and executive produced by Rogers’ widow, Wanda Rogers, the album includes eight never-before-heard recordings, spanning from 2008 to 2011. A digital deluxe version of the project will include two bonus tracks: a cover of the classic “At Last,” and the Buddy Hyatt-penned original “Say Hello to Heaven.”

“I think the record is fabulous, and it is going to make Kenny so proud,” said Wanda Rogers via a statement. “These songs are such a beautiful reminder of his love ‘for the feelings a song can make’ for a person. He would often say that he wanted his songs to be ‘what every man wants to say, and every woman wants to hear.’ I think there are a lot of those moments on this album. This is a very special record to me and our family because it really tells the story of our life together, and I feel his fans will also relate to it in a big way because it walks the listener through the seasons of life that we all experience in one way or another. There is joy, there is love, there is family, there is uncertainty, there is pain, there is faith … it’s emotional and real. This is the kind of music Kenny loved to make.”

Two songs from the album are available now for streaming: “Love Is a Drug,” co-written by Rogers’ longtime musical partner and former New Christy Minstrels bandmate Kim Carnes, as well as Rogers’ rendition of The Temptations’ hit “I Wish It Would Rain.”

The album also features a collaboration between Rogers and his longtime friend and collaborator Dolly Parton, who together notched the enduring hit “Islands in the Stream.” In the mid-aughts, they teamed up again for “Tell Me That You Love Me,” produced by Tony Brown. The song originally appeared on a 2009 compilation.

The album also includes Rogers’ rendition of the Lionel Richie-penned song “Goodbye,” which also previously appeared on the same 2009 compilation. The album also features Rogers’ rendition of Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight,” while “Am I Too Late,” originally recorded for Rogers’ 1977 album, Daytime Friends, gets reimagined as a duet with Kim Keyes.

Perhaps the fulcrum of the album is the previously unreleased “Catchin’ Grasshoppers,” a tribute to Rogers’ twin sons with his wife, Justin and Jordan. Written by Laura McCall Torno and Earl Torno, with production work from Rogers and Randy Dorman, the song honors Rogers’ children and the memories he made with them.

See the tracklist for Life Is Like a Song below:

  1. “Love Is a Drug”

  2. “I Wish It Would Rain”

  3. “Am I Too Late” (with Kim Keyes)

  4. “Tell Me That You Love Me” (with Dolly Parton)

  5. “Straight Into Love” (with Jamie O’Neal)

  6. “Wonderful Tonight”

  7. “Catchin’ Grasshoppers”

  8. “That’s Love to Me”

  9. “I Will Wait for You”

  10. “Goodbye”

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