Posthumous Kenny Rogers Album to Feature Unreleased Songs 3 Years After His Death
Rogers died of natural causes at his home in March 2020 at the age of 81
PHOTO: MICHAEL BUCKNER/GETTY IMAGES
Kenny Rogers' legacy will live on.
A posthumous debut of never-released songs from the country icon is set to be released on June 2. Life Is Like a Song marks the first material released by Rogers after his death.
The set is described as "a stunning and emotional song cycle that tells the story of the love, life, loss, and faith between Rogers and his family." Rogers' widow, Wanda Rogers, served as the curator for the sentimental project.
It features eight songs pulled from Rogers' archives that he recorded between 2008 and 2011 and were "deeply personal" to him.
His skills were on full display as he performs his own rendition of "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton and "Goodbye" by Lionel Richie. A lyric video for Richie's song was displayed at Rogers' memorial service last year.
Rogers' anticipated collaboration with Dolly Parton, "Tell Me What You Love", will also be heard on the album.
Rogers also covered Mack Gordon and Henry Warren's legendary single "At Last" — which Etta James famously recorded — and "Say Hello to Heaven," initially written by Buddy Hyatt, in a deluxe version.
Other than a Christmas album, Rogers had not released any studio albums in a decade. Life Is Like a Song is also the only "non-compilation/non-reissued full-length album to be released on vinyl since 1991," the release touted.
Rogers served as a producer alongside Tony Brown, Viktor Krauss, Kyle Lehning, and Brent Maher. His notable band, Bloodline: Randy Dorman and Steve Glassmeyer (for the deluxe version) and Warren Hartman and Chuck Jacobs also took part.
The executive producers are Wanda Rogers, Ken Levitan and Jason Henke.
The album kicked off with "Love Is a Drug," a "hard-driving, fist-pumping country-rock anthem" that Rogers' longtime collaborator Kim Carnes co-wrote.
Rogers' cover of the Temptations' "I Wish It Would Rain" also makes an appearance.
"Brought to life with new instrumentation by celebrated producer Kyle Lehningand in-demand musician/producer Viktor Krauss, who together oversaw Rogers' recording, the ballad harkens back to Rogers' classic soft rock era," the release noted.
Rogers died on March 20, 2020, his family announced in a statement the following day. He was 81.
"The Rogers family is sad to announce that Kenny Rogers passed away last night at 10:25 p.m. at the age of 81. Rogers passed away peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family," the singer's family said.
"The family is planning a small private service at this time out of concern for the national COVID-19 emergency. They look forward to celebrating Kenny's life publicly with his friends and fans at a later date," they added.
Over his illustrious five-decades-long career, Rogers sold more than 100 million records and won three Grammys, 18 American Music Awards, and a spot in the Country Music Hall of Fame. His biggest hits included his signature song "The Gambler," "Lucille," "Ruby," "Lady" and "Islands in the Stream"—his beloved duet with Parton which reached No. 1 on the pop charts in 1983.