CMT will honor the late Kenny Rogers with a televised special next week, which will feature virtual performances by several artists. On Thursday, the channel announced that it will air a special tribute, CMT Giants Kenny Rogers: A Benefit for MusiCares, on Wednesday, April 8 at 8 p.m. ET.
The broadcast will feature virtual performances and interviews from Rogers' friends and other artists 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. Each contributor will film their segment from their homes, and the performances will be interspersed with rare archival photos, interviews and performances as well as clips and commentary from Rogers.
"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," Executive Producer and Vice President of Production, Music & Events, CMT Margaret Comeaux said in a statement, via PEOPLE. "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."
After Rogers' death, his family asked fans to donate to MusiCares' COVID-19 Relief Fund. MusiCares is currently collecting funds to distribute to artists, musicians and other professionals in the music industry who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, which has effectively temporarily shut down the concert industry.
"Several people have asked where donations can be made in Kenny's name," the family wrote on Rogers' Instagram account. "We suggest the @recordingacademy & @musicares COVID-19 Relief Fund to help music creators/professionals without work during the coronavirus pandemic. Kenny always wholeheartedly supported musicians, crew members & music personnel."
When CMT's special airs on Wednesday, fans can donate directly to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund by visiting musicares.org/kennyrogers and texting KENNYCARES to 41444 during the broadcast.
Rogers died from natural causes on March 20 at age 81. He passed away "peacefully" at home under the care of hospice surrounded by loved ones.
"I know that we all know Kenny's in a better place than we are today, but I'm sure he's going to be talking to God sometime today, if he ain't already, and he's gonna be asking Him to spread some light onto this darkness going on here," Parton said in a video she shared on March 21. "I loved Kenny with all my heart, and my heart's broken."
Photo Credit: Getty / David Redfern