There was a farewell celebration and one for the history books Wednesday night in downtown Nashville.
Music legend Kenny Rogers performed his last concert at Bridgestone Arena.
It was a full house as “the Gambler” folded his hand. From country music royalty to rockers, more than two dozen artists took the stage to pay tribute.
It was really a night to sit back and reflect on Rogers’ 70-year career, and he sat on stage with his wife by his side as each artist, from Reba to the Judds and Jamey Johnson, played one of his songs.
“This is very surreal for me. It’s a celebration and yet it’s a marker, yet another marker, of how quickly time is going by, to savor every moment,” said Wynonna Judd.
Of course, there was plenty to pick from as he has produced more than 120 hit singles during his career.
“Kenny is about as special to me as my entire life and career. There was a time when I was making that transition form the Commodores into my solo career, and he did something special. He was getting this award at the Country Music Awards and all he had to do was say thank you very much, and he turned around and said, I couldn’t be here tonight if it wasn’t for my friend Lionel Richie writing this song, and the camera came over his shoulder and the camera hit me and I never forgot it,” Lionel Richie said.
And to top it off, the farewell celebration included a once in a lifetime finale with his duet queen Dolly Parton.
The two helped make songs like “Islands in the Stream,” “Love is Strange,” and “You Can’t Make Old Friends” classics.
“I wouldn’t miss this for the world. Yeah, it’s exciting. I see people in the line that I haven’t seen in 20 years, and I think that’s awesome. I would do it for them and certainly I would do it for her,” Rogers said backstage.