You got to know when to hold ’em and know when show ’em. CBS is following that paraphrased lyric’s advice with Kenny Rogers: All In for the Gambler, an hourlong special featuring big names performing the late singer’s hits. It’s set to air at 9 p.m. Thursday, September 23, on the network and Paramount+.
Chris Stapleton, Idina Menzel, Lady A, Lionel Richie, Little Big Town and Reba McEntire will play songs by country-pop legend, who died last year at 81. Listen for “The Gambler,” “Lady,” “She Believes in Me,” “Through the Years,” “Lucille,” “We’ve Got Tonight” and more. Dolly Parton also will take the stage to share touching memories and anecdotes about her longtime friend and duet partner, performing a series of songs that culminate in an emotional finale featuring Rogers himself.
The special was filmed at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville in 2017.
Rogers was among the biggest country-pop crossover artists of the 1970s and ’80s, racking up nine top 10 single son the Billboard Hot 100 including the No. 1 smashes “Lady” and “Islands in the Stream,” the latter a duet with Parton. He was part of folk group the New Christy Minstrels in the mid-’60s before joining the First Edition and hitting the pop top 10 twice with “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” and “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town” later in the decade.
“Kenny Rogers’ enormous impact on country music was matched only by the love all the artists and fans showed Kenny on this incredible night,” executive producers Keith Wortman and Ken Levitan said in a statement. “We are so thrilled to share this special with his friends, family and fans all around the world, as he will remain forever in our hearts.”
Kenny Rogers: All In for the Gambler hails from Blackbird Presents.