Rascal Flatts paid tribute to Kenny Rogers on CMT GIANTS Kenny Rogers: A Benefit For MusiCares, performing a cover of the late star's "Through the Years." Group members Gary LaVox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney all performed separately from their homes, syncing up in a video to honor Rogers. LeVox takes lead on the classic, his vocals perfect as always, while Rooney plays an acoustic guitar and DeMarcus is seated at a piano.
The group's signature harmonies shine once the song reaches its chorus., with DeMarcus and Rooney joining LeVox as they sing, "Through the years / You've never let me down / You've turned my life around /The sweetest days I've found / I've found with you." "Through the Years" written by Steve Dorff and Marty Panzer and was recorded by Rogers for his 1981 album Share Your Love. It was released as the album's fourth single and reached No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Rogers has credited it as a career song.
"It was such an honor to be able to sing 'Through The Years' by the amazing @_kennyrogers last night on the CMT tribute," LeVox wrote on Instagram on Thursday. "Thank you for so many years of amazing music Kenny." During the broadcast, he called "Through the Years" "the most perfect love song that’s ever been written."
CMT GIANTS was hosted by Rita Wilson and also featured Dolly Parton, Gavin DeGraw, Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires, Jennifer Nettles, Lady Antebellum, Lionel Richie, Michael McDonald, Randy Houser, Vince Gill, songwriter Don Schlitz ("The Gambler") and singer-songwriter Kim Carnes ("Don’t Fall in Love With A Dreamer"). Performances were interspersed with rare archival photos, interviews and performances as well as clips and commentary from Rogers.
"Kenny Rogers was both larger than life and down to earth, a man who always went out of his way to help people - people who needed it," Wilson said during the show, which raised money for the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund. "He was very commanding, no matter what setting you found him in but in a way that was always led by kindness and by grace," Vince Gill recalled of Rogers. "When he walked onto a stage, he owned it, and that’s what the greats do."
The special ended with a montage of photos and videos of Rogers set to the star singing "Goodbye," which was written by Richie when he was "losing a lot of my friends, never thinking for a moment that the future is going to happen. And here we are," Richie said during the show. "He is now singing the song that at the time had a different meaning in our relationship," he added of Rogers. "We lived a lot of years together. We lived a lot of life together, a lot of laughs. And I promise you, ladies and gentlemen, there will never be another gambler like Kenny Rogers."