CMT will air virtual special honouring the life and career of the late Kenny Rogers on Wednesday, 8 April. CMT Giants Kenny Rogers: A Benefit for MusiCares will include performances captured at home by friends and collaborators such as Dolly Parton and Lionel Richie. The show follows his death from natural causes on 20 March at the age of 81.
The bill will feature many other big names in the country and Americana worlds, including Vince Gill, Lady Antebellum, Jason Isbell and his wife Amanda Shires. Other big names on board include Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland, Randy Houser, Rascal Flatts and, from outside the country scene, Michael McDonald and Gavin DeGraw. The show will include performance and interview clips of Rogers himself.
MusiCares for Nashville and beyond
The special will raise money for MusiCares, the Recording Academy’s non-profit organisation, which works to safeguard the health and well-being of people in the music industry. Specifically, viewer donations will go towards the newly-established MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund. The initiative is helping musicians and industry people who are most affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The Country Music Association (CMA) and its philanthropic arm, the CMA Foundation, this week announced a pledge of $1 million to the fund.
Half of the money raised will go to such people in the Nashville music community, and viewers on the night will have the opportunity to donate via a dedicated website or via text message.
Rogers figures prominently in this week’s charts, both in the US and beyond. Capitol Nashville/UMe’s The Best Of Kenny Rogers: Through The Years tops Billboard’s Top Country Albums and hits No. 9 on the Billboard 200. As reported, he has 12 tracks on Digital Song Sales chart, with ‘The Gambler’ at No. 1. He debuts at No. 3 on the Artist 100.
Further afield, Rogers is at No. 6 in the UK with All The Hits and All New Love Songs, which is No. 10 in Australia and No. 76 in Germany. He also appears at No. 38 in Australia with 21 Number Ones and at No. 50 with The Best of Kenny Rogers.