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.