CMT ANNOUNCES NEW SPECIAL “CMT GIANTS KENNY ROGERS: A BENEFIT FOR MUSICARES” TO HONOR LATE COUNTRY MUSIC ICON ON WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8 AT 8 PM ET/PT
Special To Include Virtual Tributes From Dolly Parton, Gavin DeGraw, Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires, Jennifer Nettles, Lady Antebellum, Lionel Richie, Michael McDonald, Randy Houser, Rascal Flatts, Vince Gill & More
All Donations To Benefit MusiCares® COVID-19 Relief Fund
NASHVILLE - April 2, 2020 - CMT today announced “CMT GIANTS Kenny Rogers: A Benefit For MusiCares,” an uplifting celebration to honor the extraordinary life and legendary music of the late Kenny Rogers. The special will premiere Wednesday, April 8 at 8 PM ET/PT on CMT. The special will encore on MTV Live at 8:00 PM ET/PT on April 10 and again on CMT at 12:00 PM ET/PT on April 11.
The tribute will feature special virtual performances and interviews from Rogers’ superstar friends including Dolly Parton, Gavin DeGraw, Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires, Jennifer Nettles, Lady Antebellum, Lionel Richie, Michael McDonald, Randy Houser, Rascal Flatts, Vince Gill and more, all filmed directly from their homes and blended alongside rare archival photos, interviews and performances, with clips and commentary from Rogers himself.
“Kenny Rogers transcended genres and generations with his musical versatility, legendary collaborations and timeless appeal, and we’re honored to pay tribute to his legacy,” shared Margaret Comeaux, executive producer, CMT. “Particularly in these turbulent times, we’ll stop and take a moment to allow the memory of our dear friend Kenny to bring us together and inspire us to lend support to those in the music community who are most in need.”
During the special, fans will have the opportunity to honor Rogers’ life and donate directly to MusiCares® COVID-19 Relief Fund, established to provide critical funds directly to the thousands of music creators and industry professionals who have the greatest need due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Half of all funds raised will go directly to the Nashville country community.
“The resilience and strength of the country music community is heartwarming,” said Debbie Carroll, Vice President, Health and Human Services MusiCares. “Our deepest gratitude to the Rogers Family and CMT for designating MusiCares as the beneficiary of this broadcast. Their support will help the thousands of music professionals in need of assistance with rent, utilities, food and other basic necessities. I’m proud to call Nashville home and I’m so fortunate to be a member of this community.”
Viewers can support CMT’s efforts by visiting musicares.org/kennycares and texting KENNYCARES to 41444 during the broadcast to contribute. If you are a member of the music industry and in need of assistance, visit musicares.org.
“Our heartfelt thanks to CMT and the Kenny Rogers estate for supporting MusiCares during these unprecedented times,” said Steve Boom, MusiCares Chair. “Donations from the broadcast will benefit thousands of music creators and industry professionals in desperate need of support. Kenny was very philanthropic throughout his lifetime, and that legacy continues to live on.”
Rogers has a celebrated history with CMT and was honored in 2015 as “Artist of a Lifetime” during the CMT Artists of the Year ceremony. In 2005, he collaborated with close friend Lionel Richie for an episode of “CMT Crossroads” and also appeared alongside Dolly Parton at “CMT 100 Greatest Duets” to sing “Islands in the Stream,” which earned the No. 1 spot on CMT’s prestigious list. The 1983 hit, written by the Bee Gees, reached No. 1 on both Billboard’s pop and country charts and certified Platinum the same year.
Launched in 2006, the CMT GIANTS franchise is CMT’s elite honor celebrating the careers of country music’s most legendary artists: Reba McEntire (2006), Hank Williams, Jr. (2007) and Alan Jackson (2008). Stars that have previously taken part in past specials include Brad Paisley, Buddy Guy, Dolly Parton, Faith Hill, Gretchen Wilson, Jennifer Nettles, Kelly Clarkson, Kid Rock, LeAnn Rimes, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Martina McBride, Megan Mullally, Steven Tyler, Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith, Trisha Yearwood and Wynonna, to name a few.
“CMT GIANTS Kenny Rogers: A Benefit for MusiCares” is produced by CMT’s Margaret Comeaux. For more information, visit CMT.com, follow @CMT on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube and use the hashtag #CMTGiants.
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About Kenny Rogers
GRAMMY® Award-winning superstar Kenny Rogers enjoyed exceptional success during his storied career of over six decades. With his staying power and universal appeal on full display, he endeared music lovers around the globe with his amazing songs, heartfelt performances, distinctive voice, gift for storytelling, relatability, showmanship, philanthropy and humility.
Rogers sold over 120 million albums worldwide, making him one of the best-selling male artists of all-time according to the RIAA, with one Diamond album, 20 Platinum albums and 11 Gold. He recorded 24 No. 1 hits (including classics like "The Gambler," "Lady," "Islands In The Stream," “Lucille," "She Believes In Me," and "Through The Years”), 12 No. 1 albums and 25 Top 10 country albums. Miraculously, he charted a song within each of the last seven decades. His music has always crossed boundaries, with singles and albums finding frequent success on the Country, Top 40, and Adult Contemporary charts, and in a few instances, on the R&B and Christian charts. The first country artist to consistently sell out arenas, Rogers also achieved pop superstardom and reached the pinnacle of worldwide popularity and celebrity few artists have ever attained, performing live for millions of fans. Rogers’ 28 Billboard Adult Contemporary Top 10's rank fifth-best all-time, and he sent the most country No. 1’s to the top spot on AC (five of his eight AC No. 1’s were also country No. 1’s).
Rogers has won awards from every organization imaginable. In the fall of 2013, Rogers was bestowed with his biggest honor, being inducted as a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville. His numerous accolades include 21 American Music Awards, 11 People’s Choice Awards, 10 Academy of Country Music Awards (including the Career Achievement Award, Entertainer of the Year, multiple Male Vocalist of the Year Awards and the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award), six Country Music Association Awards (including the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award and Male Vocalist of the Year), three GRAMMY® Awards, two CMT Music Awards and the CMT Artist of a Lifetime Award in 2015. He received the Career Achievement Award at the TNN Music Awards, the Lifetime Achievement Award from IEBA (International Entertainment Buyers Association), an IEBA Hall of Fame Induction and the SESAC Legacy Award, among many others. He was also the recipient of the Horatio Alger Award, given to those who have distinguished themselves despite humble beginnings, an honor that was very special to him. Rogers was voted the "Favorite Singer of All Time" in a 1986 joint poll by readers of both USA Today and People.
On March 27, 2020 -- one week following Rogers' death -- Capitol Nashville sent "Goodbye," a little-known recording by Rogers written by Lionel Richie, to country radio with the note: "Those closest to Kenny wanted to make this track available to all of his fans." Rogers delivers a moving performance on the emotional song.
CMT is the leading authority on country music and lifestyle, offering a mix of original series, music events and specials. CMT is everywhere its fans are including two cable channels (CMT and the 24-hour music channel, CMT Music), radio (CMT Radio), digital (CMT.com) and social (CMT on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube). CMT is a unit of ViacomCBS Inc. (Nasdaq: VIACA, VIAC) (“ViacomCBS”). For more information, please visit cmtpress.com.
A friend and ally of the music community, MusiCares was established by the Recording Academy to safeguard the health and well-being of all music people. A four-star charity and safety net in times of need, MusiCares offers confidential preventive, recovery, and emergency programs to address financial, medical, and personal health issues. Through the generosity of our donors and volunteer professionals, our dedicated team works across the country to ensure the music community has the resources and support it needs.
For more information, visit www.musicares.org, "like" MusiCares on Facebook, and follow @MusiCares on Twitter and Instagram.
Ali Marszalkowski, Director of Communications, Ali.Marszalkowski@viacom.com
Rebecca Lawlor, Coordinator, Rebecca.Lawlor@viacom.com