Muster's guest star into gospel
GRAMMY award-winning recording artist, Kenny Rogers, never set out to go solo.
He told The Gympie Times he would have loved to share his success with his pop group, The First Edition, but it wasn't meant to be.
"I always wanted to be a singer in a band," Rogers said.
"I love being in groups singing in harmony."
As Rogers' fame grew, it created a wedge between band members and the group broke up, freeing Rogers to go on and be one of the most successful recording artists of all time.
He's the only artist to chart a record in each of the last six decades from the 50s to the 2000s. At the peak of his popularity in the late 70s to early 80s, Rogers sold more than one million records every month for a whopping 26 straight months.
His latest release, gospel album The Love of God, was 20 years in the making. He had contemplated the idea of a gospel album for many years but the timing was never right.
"I've been asked for 20 years to do an album like this. I'm not overtly religious but I am very spiritual," Rogers said.
"This album gave me the chance to tap into that part of me.
"It's more of an inspirational album than a gospel album."
Songs he chose for the album remind Rogers of childhood experiences with his late mother and father.
"So I'm really closely attached to most of the songs," he added.
"I really, really love what I'm doing. People survive longer if they love what they're doing. Because you just don't quit."
While his mother would no doubt be very proud, Rogers would have no doubt caused her some grief when he changed his name from Kenneth to Kenny.
He told Gympie Times he would have preferred to be known by his proper name, but at one of his first solo gigs he was introduced as Kenny and it stuck.
"The emcee was about to introduce me to the audience and asked what my name was," Rogers explains. "He told me I would never make it with a name like Kenneth and called me Kenny. All the girls started screaming so I decided to keep it."
Rogers will headline the 2012 Gympie Muster with a performance on the Main Stage on Sunday, August 26.