The Woman Who Cost Kenny Rogers $60 Million

The name Kenny Rogers is supposed to ring a very loud bell. To most people, Kenny Rogers is an international country music superstar who sang one of the best songs ever released: “The Gambler.” Others may know him from his recorded TV appearances and charity work. Sadly for him, a terrible truth has been revealed in the past few days about his personal life.

How Kenneth Became ‘Kenny Rogers’

Before there was ever a white-haired, heavily bearded Kenny Rogers, there was a young Kenneth Rogers, an aspiring singer. From the moment he decided to try professional singing, Kenny Rogers went along with the name Kenneth. All that changed when, during a small appearance on Larry Kane’s variety show, Kane himself suggested that he use Kenny instead. After the first attempt at using ‘Kenny Rogers’ was met with wild applause from the audience, the aspiring singer knew he’d found his fit.

He Was A Mama’s Boy

Kenny Rogers didn’t always imagine music as the only way forward. He loved it dearly, but he was young and had other plans too. To become the world-renowned artist he is today, Kenny Rogers’ mother had to point him in the right direction. Rather than force young Kenny to join a particular profession, she cautioned him to choose a job he would love doing in the long run because that would mean he’d get paid more without doing too much. For Kenny, that was music.

He Wasn’t A Solo Act At Dirst

For most fans, Kenny Rogers has always been a solo performer. Apart from his many collaborations with other major stars, most fans can’t imagine him as anything but. But he was once part of a band. Aptly named The First Edition, they were bent more toward pop and hippie music, and Kenny changed his appearance by growing his hair, piercing his ears and wearing pink sunglasses to look the part while performing with his bandmates.

Kenny Rogers Was Once A Jazz Bassist

Kenny Rogers’ journey to country music superstardom was rather long, but it took a rather deep turn in the ‘60s as young Kenny tried to find his voice. Part of that discovery involved joining a new band called The Bobby Doyle Trio as a bassist. Unfortunately for Kenny (or fortunately for his future country music career), The Bobby Doyle Trio failed to release any or enough successful singles throughout its lifetime, resulting in a breakup in around 1965.

His Father Suffered From Depression

Kenny Rogers has also seen the dark side of life, especially through his father, who became increasingly depressed after failing to find work and settle properly in his hometown of Houston after returning from World War II. The joblessness meant that he couldn’t support his family, which only worsened his condition. Kenny Rogers has revealed that his father turned to alcohol to mask his condition, later becoming a dependent alcoholic who couldn’t achieve anything. This inspired the future country star to work harder in life.

He’s Never Performed While High – Except Once

Although it’s hard to prove and we will never know for sure, Kenny Rogers has said in the past that he’s performed only once while under the influence. That’s a big feat, considering the bittersweet relationship between drugs and the American music industry and the fact that he’s been exposed to alcohol and other drugs since as early as the ‘60s. He revealed that his vocals were nearly damaged the one time he sang under the influence, so it makes perfect sense that he chooses not to.

He’s Had Plastic Surgery – And He Admits It Went Wrong

Not many music stars ever admit to having some work done on their body, but Kenny Rogers proudly did.  Even more amusing (or maddening, based on your standpoint) is the fact that he believes his plastic surgery went awfully wrong, resulting in an older, leaner appearance he didn’t expect. And he might be right, considering his earlier look that charmed audiences. His later photos reveal a much different, thinner-looking, narrow-faced man with wider eyes and a thinner nose. Read on to discover how he lost $60 million at once.

His Reason For Plastic Surgery Is Unusual

Unlike many public figures that can’t admit to having had plastic surgery, Kenny Rogers went ahead and admitted it. He also revealed why he went under the knife, and his reason is more than surprising: Kenny Rogers happens to have a much younger wife, so he decided to get some work done in order to look young enough for her. And if it had gone right, which almost never happens for patients his age, he’d have looked years younger. Click ‘Next’ for more about Kenny Rogers.

There Is A Parody Website About Him

Kenny Rogers is a very famous man with millions of fans worldwide. So when a parody website about him went live, it wasn’t a huge surprise. The difference is that Kenny Rogers personally endorsed the parody website as long as it didn’t go overboard. For now, the website is full of fan-uploaded images of people who look like Kenny doing all sorts of things. Press ‘Next’ to check out the other unusual activity Kenny Rogers does for a living.

Kenny Rogers Also Entertained Outside Music

In his later years, Kenny Rogers proved he could entertain in ways other than through singing. One such way was through comedy when he appeared on the show MadTV regularly throughout the end of the ‘90s and the start of the new millennium. The show made fun of him and his restaurant chain, but he took it all in good fun, later becoming wildly popular with the show’s viewers. Press ‘Next’ to discover the other unusual ways Kenny Rogers entertains outside of music.

He Had A Cameo in ‘Reno 911’

Remember the ‘90s and early 2000s show Reno 911? Kenny Rogers appeared on that one too as himself. His storyline was a funny one: It involved him coming to Reno for a book signing and requesting security. Two overzealous fans offer their services as guards throughout his stay, but not with the best results. The cameo turned out to be a good marketing opportunity for the singer. And that wasn’t the last time. Find out the other unusual ways he entertained in the next slide.

He Once Appeared in A Geico Ad

Kenny Rogers also appeared in a Geico ad once, with his hit song “The Gambler” working as a soundtrack. In the ad, he played an elderly man playing poker with a group of friends. The ad was initially considered unusual for Rogers, who hadn’t lent his music or appeared in an insurance ad before. But later, the ad was noted for being funny and well done. See what else Kenny Rogers did apart from music in the next slide.

He Once Starred In A Box Office Hit

The average moviegoer might not know this, but Kenny Rogers once starred in a movie that went on to become a box office success. Following in the footsteps of country singer-turned-actor Kris Kristofferson, Kenny Rogers starred in Six Pack, a film about orphans who strip down a man’s car on the orders of the local sheriff. Kenny Rogers lifts the film when he decides to join a car race in order to get his vehicle back. See the next slide for more.

Kenny Rogers Also Appeared in ‘The Muppet Show’

Who would ever expect Kenny Rogers to appear on The Muppet Show? But Kenny Rogers is always one for surprises, so he did. Part of his appearance involved singing “The Gambler” along with one of the Muppets in a skit headlined by three muppets. Earlier in the show, his dressing room had been auctioned off amid wild confusion and crazy antics. This wasn’t his only way of marketing his songs, though. See the other marketing tricks he pulled in the next slide.

He Had Unique Marketing Strategies For His Music

If anything, Kenny Rogers has had some rather unique marketing strategies for his music throughout the years. None stood out more than the time he requested the viewers watching QVC to decide which songs would appear on his Greatest Hits record. And when he made the compilation album, he had it sell through QVC alone for a year before releasing it to the mainstream. And that’s isn’t all. See the other crazy ways Kenny Rogers marketed his music in the next slide.

He Once Made His CD Available For Sale In A Restaurant Chain

If selling a music album through QVC alone wasn’t crazy enough, Kenny Rogers went even further. One of his gospel albums, The Love of God, is made up of covers of powerful songs he listened to while growing up back home in Texas. To market it creatively, he made the album only available for sale at Cracker Barrel restaurants for an unspecified amount of time. Who would do that today? See a shocking and surprising fact about Kenny Rogers’ family in the next slide.

He’s Been Married Five Times

No section of Kenny Rogers’ life is as interesting as his marriages. Now married five times with a few hefty divorces in between, his current wife is Wanda Rogers, who happens to be way younger than him. Even worse, he is older than both of Wanda’s parents, so it makes sense why both parents were initially against the marriage. The relationship between both couples has improved in later years. Wondering which wife cost him $60 million? Check out the next slide to find out.

He Loved The ‘90s Show ‘Home Improvement’

Remember the ‘90s show Home Improvement starring Tim Allen? It had a superfan in Kenny Rogers, who made his love for it public on numerous occasions. The show featured a family man who hosted a cable home improvement show, often with lots of ensuing comedy. Kenny Rogers loved it so much that when its final episode aired in 1999, he contributed a song for its season finale. But that wasn’t the end of his stint on TV. See the next slide to find out more.

He Once Hosted A History Show On TV (No Lie)

Here’s a huge surprise: Kenny Rogers is a huge history fan. Maybe it is fairer to call him a history geek. How unusual is that? And he took that fandom to a whole new level in the 1990s when he hosted a history show called The Real West on the History Channel. As host, the show saw him delve into major events that shaped the West as it’s known today, accompanied by wonderful music. See the next slide to read about the scandal that nearly killed his career.

The Scandal That Was The Kenny Rogers Hotline

When Kenny Rogers set up a private phone line to enable women to call him and start conversations of an erotic nature, he believed he was clearing the air and doing some good. The 1-800 number soon became the topic of conversation and negative press. Despite claims that he believed the women who called the number knew what they were getting into, the saga nearly damaged his reputation and career. And there’s more: Kenny Rogers has made some surprising claims in the past. See them in the next slide.

He’s Admitted to Having Money Management Problems

The Kenny Rogers we know is a record-making artist, bestselling author and award-winning singer. Anyone would believe that he has boatloads of money and probably doesn’t even have time to count it. But Kenny Rogers once revealed he often finds himself with little or no money because of mismanagement, a problem he blames on growing up with nothing. It’s definitely hard to imagine a superstar like him being broke, but that’s the reality. See what happened the day he lost his virginity in the next slide.

The Day He Lost His Virginity, Something Huge Happened

Kenny Rogers had stated in the past that his life changed when he lost his virginity, and not in a small way. He lost his virginity at age 19, and that wasn’t the only thing that happened that day. Nine months later, the girl gave birth to a baby. Kenny Rogers has stated that he loved the girl he lost his virginity to, although she later left with their daughter to marry someone else. And how about Dolly Parton? It’s all in the next slide.

He’s Best Friends With Dolly Parton

Anyone who’s seen Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers on stage performing one of their duets (such as “You Can’t Make Old Friends”) knows that they have wonderful chemistry. That chemistry fueled rumors of an undercover relationship between the pair over the years despite both of them being married. Both Dolly and Kenny maintain that they are good friends and nothing else, having known each other for decades. This story featured in Kenny Rogers’ biography. See more about it in the next slide.

His Autobiography Was A Big Hit

Kenny Rogers was also the subject of a memoir he wrote himself, aptly titled Luck or Something Like It. It quickly became a New York Times bestseller. In it, he chronicles five decades of a life well lived and filled with numerous stories. Entertainment Weekly called him a “master storyteller,” which is unsurprising seeing as half his songs are stories themselves. The autobiography later became a hit. But you’ll be surprised to learn that he nearly didn’t get the autobiography written. See what happened in the next slide.

He Almost Failed To Write His Autobiography

When he was initially approached with the request to write his memoir, Kenny Rogers was hesitant, believing that people would only buy it to read about his scandals and make fun of him afterward. The book publishers did not relent in their request and later persuaded him to write the story of his rise from Houston teenager to international country star. His autobiography turned out to be a hit he couldn’t have expected. But could he have had another career? It’s all in the next slide!

He Could Have Been A Star Tennis Player

Believe it or not, Kenny Rogers could have played at Wimbledon because he was actually very good at tennis before he diverted to music. Even when he became an established musician, he continued to practice at home and while on tour. At one point, Rogers was ranked by the United States Tennis Association and even got to play against some top tennis players along the way. Click ‘Next’ to find out Rogers’ other sources of income.

He’s Got Other Sources Of Income – Some of Them Are Very Surprising

Would you imagine Kenny Rogers having countless sources of side income? Never. But he does, and some of them are his lifelong passions. As a long-term fan of interior design, Kenny started the design studio Kenji Design Studio with friend Jim Weinberg and has personally decorated over 20 houses. Over time, his design work has been commended for being unique and practical. But that isn’t the only way Kenny Rogers makes a side buck. See all the other surprising gigs in the next slides.

He Has A Restaurant Chain

If you’ve ever seen a Kenny Rogers Roasters restaurant, remember Kenny Rogers. The country singer started his chain of restaurants after identifying a need for a fast food restaurant that used less salt and served less fat. Kenny has also expressed his love for chicken in the past, so his choice of restaurant wasn’t difficult. His restaurant chain found existing competition in KFC and other fast food places but still stood firm and still operates today. Find out more about Kenny Rogers in the next slide.

He’s One of the World’s Bestselling Musicians

Kenny Rogers has made his mark as a very profitable singer, having sold millions of albums worldwide over the course of five decades. He has released over 50 music albums, 30 of which have been certified gold. He’s also had 19 platinum-certified albums and one diamond-certified album that sold over 24 million copies. It is no surprise, then, that the RIAA ranks him among the top 10 most profitable singers in the world today. See his other surprising accolades in the next slide.

He Only Joined the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013

When, Kenny Rogers was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013, it came as a surprise. Many people thought a singer of his caliber must have already been inducted years ago, seeing as he’d been releasing hits since the 1970s. Either way, the idea was highly appreciated by the country music fraternity. It was also seen as an endorsement of his iconic stature and efforts to make country music more mainstream. Click ‘Next’ to discover how charitable Kenny Rogers is.

He Was a Major Force in “We Are the World”

In the 1980s, a humanitarian crisis hit some parts of Africa. Countries including Sudan and Ethiopia were hit by a prolonged drought, resulting in starvation. Pictures of dying African children spread all over the world. In the U.S., American singers decided to do something about it. The result was the hit song “We Are the World,” on which more than 100 singers (including Kenny Rogers) collaborated. All the proceeds of the song went to solving the hunger crisis. Click ‘Next’ to see more.

He’s Gone to Great Lengths For Charity Too

Kenny Rogers has always been a very charitable person and had done more before the Africa hunger crisis. In the 1980s, he created a TV game show with the aim of financially supporting his charity work. Though it later ended indefinitely, he got to book some interesting guests, including Michael Jordan and John McEnroe. The guests would participate in mini sports competitions throughout the show, so it made for some fun television. But Kenny has seen some bad times too. Click ‘Next’ to learn more.

He Was Diagnosed With Skin Cancer

Despite one’s achievements, life does sometimes deal a bad hand. Kenny Rogers revealed that he had been diagnosed with skin cancer, probably due to the many hours he spent in the sun in his youth. As a result, Kenny decided he was going to spend more time with his family. He’s been a participant in the National Skin Cancer Awareness Month campaigns ever since and continues to talk about his battle with the disease. So, is there hope of new music? Click ‘Next’ to find out.

He Retired at the Tender Age of 79

Sadly, there isn’t much hope of new music from Kenny Rogers, seeing as he announced his retirement soon after receiving his skin cancer diagnosis. He was only 79, but he decided to retire so that he could spend quality time with his kids and battle the condition in private. But being Kenny Rogers, you never know what he might do next. He might drop a major surprise album somehow. To learn more about how he lost $60 million in one day, check out the next slide.

He Lost $60 Million in One Day

Yes, it’s true that Kenny Rogers once lost $60 million in one day. The loss stemmed from the huge divorce settlement requested by his then-wife Marianne Gordon, with whom they’d had a son following 16 years together. The divorce was highly publicized, stretched out and terribly tiring and stressful for both parties. In Kenny’s case, it was also financially draining. But Kenny Rogers has been divorced more than once, so he knew what was coming. Next, see the surprising famous roommate Kenny Rogers once had.

He Was Once Roommates With a Very Famous Person

Don Henley is a popular figure in country music, but before he was famous, he was sharing rooms with Kenny Rogers. Kenny Rogers was already established when he discovered the popular but struggling band Shiloh. At its helm was Don Henley, then an upcoming young musician. Kenny Rogers took Shiloh under his wing and helped produce their first album. In the meantime, Kenny let Don live with him. Click ‘Next’ to discover the numerous awards Kenny Rogers has bagged throughout his career.

He’s Won More Than 100 Awards

For a career spanning five decades and spawning more than $20 million in album sales, Kenny Rogers has won countless awards — and rightly so. He’s one of the most awarded male musicians of all time despite not performing in a more mainstream genre of music. The eight CMA awards, three Grammys, eight ACM Awards and 18 American Music Awards he’s received so far highlight his excellence as an artist and songwriter. He also has 11 People’s Choice Awards, signaling great popularity. Click ‘Next’ to see what inspires him.

Kenny Rogers Just Loves Being a Musician

For Kenny, it’s never about the awards or the money. It’s always been about music and what it can do to help others. Right from the start, Kenny Rogers had that in mind. He strived to write music that would appeal to anyone across the globe regardless of class, sex or gender. He continues to be humble about his work and acknowledges that he loves what he does for a living. He’s had a number of powerful collaborations. Click ‘Next’ to find out more.

He’s Had Collaborations With Some Really Big Artists

Over the years, Kenny Rogers has made his mark as a solo artist. But he’s also taken part in some really interesting music collaborations, some of which have resulted in bestselling albums. He’s made music with everyone from Dolly Parton to Dottie West to Bee Gees alum Barry Gibb. Unsurprisingly, most of his collaborations have gone on to become chart-toppers, including two of his award-winning albums (Every Time Two Fools Collide and Classics). So what does Kenny Rogers have as a pet? It’s all in the next slide.

He’s Got – And Dearly Loves – The Last Pet You’ll Ever Expect

Everyone’s got a pet — even celebs. But no celeb’s cat, dog or llama matches Kenny Rogers’ pet goat, which he loves so much that he calls it his center. Kenny says he got his pet Smitty in 2008 and has since cultivated a strong bond with it. It calms him down after strenuous recording and touring schedules when he gets back home to Georgia. And that’s not the most surprising thing about Kenny Rogers. Click ‘Next’ to learn more.

His Favorite Kenny Rogers Album is Not a Country Album

When asked to pick his favorite album among his own works, Kenny Rogers gave a most surprising answer. It wasn’t one of his bestselling, chart-breaking country albums. Instead, it was a jazz album, 1994’s Timepiece, that he regarded as his best. On Timepiece, Kenny Rogers dedicates the entire album to exploring jazz, which he’d only done back in the ‘50s. No wonder it’s his favorite album. But that’s not all. See the other surprising bits about Kenny Rogers’ musical career in the next slide.

He Once Owned a Record Company

Before many musicians could think of it, Kenny Rogers decided to start his own record company. Together with Jim Mazza, Kenny Rogers started the Dreamcatcher record label and signed a number of artists. The label was also used to re-release most of Kenny’s older albums in addition to releasing new music. Dreamcatcher proved to be popular and lasted until 2004, when it was officially dissolved. Since then, Kenny Rogers has continued to release his music through other record labels. Click ‘Next’ to see more.

He Has Another Hobby Besides Music That Takes Up His Time

Kenny Rogers is a most surprising fellow. Despite being known for his music, he keeps surprising his fans with new hobbies. He is also a photographer, and a serious one at that. He has stated in interviews that photography became an obsession soon after he discovered it, and only later did it become a passion. Toward the end of his career, he became more and more involved with photography. See how far Kenny Rogers has gone with his photography hobby in the next slide.

His Hobby Proved to be Popular With Audiences Too

In light of photography being his passion, Kenny Rogers has been taking his hobby to new levels. In the 1980s, he released and displayed two back-to-back, personally curated photo albums titled Kenny Rogers’ America and Your Friends Are Mine. And as with anything associated with Kenny Rogers, the books were wildly popular until they sold out. But that’s not all. Check out the next slide to discover his other fascinating hobby.

He Has Co-written a Fiction Novel

If you thought Kenny Rogers was all about music, tennis and photographs, think again. Before he retired in 2017, the now-79-year-old country crooner decided to lend his storytelling prowess to a fiction novel. He collaborated with author Mike Blakely to produce the novel What Are the Chances? which debuted in 2013. Once again, like with his memoir, he received positive reviews for his storytelling. Ever wondered which brands a famous person like Kenny Rogers prefers to work with? The answer is in the next slide.

He’s Very Selective With The Brands He Allows to Use His Name

Celebrities have been endorsing products since forever, and so has Kenny Rogers. But unlike most celebrities who go where the money is, Rogers has proven to be super-selective in terms of whom he associates his name with. He has stated in interviews that he receives numerous requests for brand association, but he is very selective. One of the few brands lucky enough to use his name is a Tennessee-based racecar-maker, Gambler Chassis Company. Find out more about Kenny Rogers’ family in the next slide.

His Original Family Was Huge

While his past isn’t always the focus of conversation in interviews, Kenny Rogers had a very interesting and unique childhood. His family, while not well off, was quite large. He was one of eight children, all of whom yearned for their parents’ attention. Kenny was a talented child from early on, and as luck would have it, he later became the first in his family to graduate high school. Click ‘Next’ to see how Kenny Rogers made a successful comeback to music after a decade.

He Was Nearly Forgotten As An Artist

Kenny Rogers first made his mark as an artist in the 1950s. His fame grew in the ‘60s, and he exploded in the ‘70s. But as the ‘80s wore on, Kenny Rogers found himself losing the spotlight to younger performers. His music was also losing touch with audiences. After a series of unsuccessful singles, canceled TV shows and poorly performing albums, Kenny Rogers finally shot back to fame as the decade ended. Click ‘Next’ to discover the drama surrounding his documentary.

He Had A Documentary Made About His Life

Kenny Rogers has had lots of wonderful experiences in his 79 years of singing and living, so it makes perfect sense that a documentary was made about him. But it didn’t happen as early as you’d imagine. Titled The Journey, the documentary about Kenny Rogers’ career was released in 2006 and featured interviews with Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Dottie West and more.  But how much is Kenny Rogers worth after all those years of hard work? See the next slide for the surprising answer.

He Has Amassed A Huge Fortune Over The Years

Like many other artists of similar fame, Kenny Rogers has accumulated a high net worth over the years. But unlike other artists, especially those of his age, Kenny Rogers’ net worth is only increasing with age. The 79-year-old has shown his outstanding bankability over the years with a current net worth of over $300 million, drawn from years of releasing award-winning albums, headlining tours, photography, brand endorsements and writing books. Even after retiring in 2017, his work is still raking in the dough.