Kenny Rogers Performs at His Final Nashville Concert

Kenny Rogers is going out with a bang. The 79-year-old "Gambler" singer announced that his current tour would be his last, so it was only fitting that the country music industry honor him with a legendary goodbye.

The "All In For The Gambler: Kenny Rogers' Farewell Concert Celebration" at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville brought a star-studded lineup to celebrate Rogers' success. Superstars like Reba McEntire, Lionel Richie, Lady Antebellum, Don Henley, Alison Krauss and Chris Stapleton helped sing Rogers out, but the performance everyone was waiting for came at the very end of the sold-out show.

Rogers had spent about three hours enjoying the show from his seat, but when Dolly Parton took the spotlight, she invited him onstage.

"We've been so excited about this because he says, of course, he's retiring," Parton, 71, began playfully. "Kenny, I just wanted to say that I'm really, really proud of you, and I just hope many, many years from now when I'm older" – she paused to laugh at herself – "I'll know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em."

More: Kenny Rogers to Be Honored With Music City Walk of Fame Star

Her play on "The Gambler" lyrics turned into teasing about the tabloid rumors about the longtime "Islands In the Stream" singing partners.

"Anyway, you've been accused of it all through the years, but you are retiring … you want to hold 'em now?" she asked, gesturing to her ample endowment. "I'll try not to embarrass you."

After reminiscing about their first meeting, their recording sessions and their tours together, Parton and Rogers indulged the crowd with a few hits.

The duo first song a tender version of their 2013 duet, "You Can't Make Old Friends" before Parton surprised the crowd with the song she wrote for her original duet partner, Porter Wagoner, but which has seemed to take on a new meaning with Rogers — "I Will Always Love You."

Finally, the two sang one last live rendition of "Islands In the Stream," much to the crowd's delight. Although no one in the crowd wanted the night to end, Rogers and Parton decided to go out "like rock stars."

"Kenny, how about we go out like rock stars?" Parton asked.

"Absolutely," Rogers obeyed, and he counted, "One, two, three…" and the pair outstretched their arms, dropped their mics and walked off stage into darkened lights.

Rogers' Dec. 10 show in Bethlehem, Penn. will be his last.


"I hope my fans understand that I'm a father first and a singer second," Rogers told of his reasons to retire from the road. "As it turns out, I'm missing some very great parts of my boys' lives. I know as well as anybody else how that time gets away from you. And I don't want to miss it. I just worry about how much longer I'm going to be here, and I want to have time to spend with them. It's pretty simple."