At the peak of his career, Kenny Rogers was a ubiquitous celebrity, with hit records, big movies and even a fast-food chain that bore his name. After finishing high school in Houston, Rogers released some records with groups and alone, then joined the folk ensemble the New Christy Minstrels in 1966. A year later he and some bandmates left and formed the First Edition, scoring the hit singles "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)," "Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town" and "Something’s Burning."
After going solo, Rogers found his way to the light blend of country and pop that made him a star, starting with "Lucille" in 1977. More solo hits followed, as well as popular duets with Dottie West. Two of his hits, "The Gambler" and "Coward of the County," were turned into TV movies in which he starred.
In 1998 he founded his own label, Dreamcatcher, and though no longer a steady hitmaker he continued to release albums.