Rihanna before Rihanna: Farewell to the Gambler. 

On this day three years ago we lost Kenny Rogers, one of the best selling music artists of all time. Kenny was Rihanna well before Rihanna. Not only did he chart 120 hit singles, he was a 360° media and business mogul. He even pioneered hick-hop long before Lil Nas X with his 1998 Coolio collab.

Kenny was in the movie business (Six Pack), the food business (Kenny Rogers Roasters), the TV business (the Gambler series) even the automotive business (Gamber Chassis Co). And his legend has been featured in storylines from Seinfeld to HBO’s Big Love to Geico commercials.

I only had the pleasure of working with Kenny for a short period. We were business partners for a couple years and ultimately created our own 360° experience which included a Festival Line-up, Casino experience with MGM Grand, an Oprah episode… and even a TV Special distributed by BBC. Kenny’s legend helped us secure Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, Darius Rucker, Alison Krauss, Smokey Robinson, Wynonna Judd, Billy Currington, Chris Isaac, the Oak Ridge Boys and so many more.  

When you consider today’s landscape of new and niche festivals across the US… this experience was WAY ahead of its time, just like Kenny.