Nathan writes | 

Kenny Rogers was my biggest musical influence and his death was a huge loss

Nathan Carter with Kenny Rogers

Nathan Carter

AMERICAN country music legend Kenny Rogers, who sadly died last year, had the biggest influence on me musically in the last 20 years.

I grew up listening to Kenny's hits in our home. Back then, I loved his songs such as The Gambler and Coward of the County.

Kenny had it all going on - he was even an actor and played the role of the gambler in three movies, and I loved those, too.

He was inspirational because he proved that you didn't have to come from a privileged background to achieve success in the world of showbusiness.

Born in Houston, Texas, the fourth of eight children, Kenny grew up dirt poor in a federal housing project. The key to his success was a passion for music which he developed as a child, and he pursued his dream of being a singer with total belief in his ability to succeed.

Kenny would go on to become a crossover artist topping the mainstream pop charts and introducing country music to new audiences.


In 2013, he performed to hundreds of thousands of fans at the Glastonbury Festival. I recorded that performance and watched it literally 50 times.

However, I also had the thrill of meeting Kenny Rogers when he performed live at the INEC, Killarney, in 2013.

He was such a lovely man, very friendly and charming and a great storyteller. I got a photo taken with Kenny backstage, which is something to treasure, and I now have it on my office wall.

Kenny was always great at choosing people to duet with, including Kim Carnes (Don't Fall In Love With a Dreamer), Sheena Easton (We've Got Tonight) and Dolly Parton (Islands in the Stream).

It's sad to think that we'll never again get to see him sing all his great hits and fan favourites.

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