American music icon Kenny Rogers is currently in the midst of his “1st 50 Years” tour — an optimistic title for a singer who says he’s “never really felt my age,” save for the odd knee replacement and back surgery.
“Other than that, I’m very, very healthy,” Rogers, 70, says with a laugh. “I actually feel like I’m singing better than I’ve ever sung before, and when you get an opportunity to do something like I do, it’s so personally rewarding that the thought of not doing it is more frightening than doing it under adverse conditions.
“I do a bunch of photography and (other) creative things, but the truth is, music is what I am, and everything else is what I do. There’s a lot of things I could do if I retired, but I don’t think it would bring me the same personal satisfaction.”
Rogers, who’s sold more than 120 million albums as a solo artist and with groups such as the New Christy Minstrels and the First Edition, certainly isn’t wanting for things to do. This fall he’ll release a duets collection and a 50th anniversary box set coming from Time-Life that includes new recordings. And Rogers is also preparing to publish his fourth photography book.
“It’s strange,” Rogers says, “because I look back on certain things and think, ‘My God, I can’t believe that was 25 years ago!’ It’s been such a wonderful ride. My lows have been better than most people’s highs, you know? Certainly I’ve had some phenomenal peaks, and I’m not where I was in the ’80s, but I’m still doing really, really well, and I still get the same personal satisfaction for it, so I’ve never thought of getting out.”
Kenny Rogers and Savannah Jack perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday (July 29) at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $25 and $45 pavilion, $10 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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