Kenny Rogers Jr. with his father Kenny Rogers Sr. | Source: Getty Images
Kenny Rogers Sr. was known as The Gambler but considered himself a storyteller. In his own way, his son and namesake, Kenny Rogers Jr., followed his late father’s legacy.
Growing up, Kenny Rogers Jr. lived three weeks a year at Disneyland, where his father performed on the Tomorrowland stage. He witnessed his father’s rise from performing in seedy Las Vegas venues to becoming a beloved country crooner.
In his twenties, it looked like he would also become a chart topper like Kenny Rogers Sr. when he released a solo album in the late 80s. However, the Texan’s musical endeavors are now purely focused on producing the industry.
Kenny Rogers Jr. is Kenny Rogers’ second child
Kenneth “Kenny” Rogers was born on May 24, 1964, in Houston, Texas to Margo Anderson and Kenny Sr. He was the only child born of this union but has four siblings through his father’s other marriages. His parents divorced when he was 12.
The son of country royalty made his entertainment debut as Edward Broad in the two-part miniseries, ‘A Woman Called Moses,’ which starred Cicely Tyson as Harriet Tubman in 1978.
In the 1990 holiday classic, “Christmas in America,” he starred alongside his father as David Morgan, a son with a strained relationship with his father, which everyone agrees is n was not his experience with his father.
He had two more roles in his father’s TV movies, 1993’s ‘Rio Diablo’ and 1994’s ‘MacShayne: The Final Roll of the Dice’. The latter was one of the films inspired by Kenny Sr.’s country hit, “The Gambler.” It was the last role Kenny Jr. would play in the 90s.
Kenny Sr. presented the award to his son after saying it looked cool.
The entertainer briefly returned to the big screen as Professor Raymer in the goofy comedy “About a Tramp and a Boy,” written and directed by Keaton Rogers and Nick Vojdani.
Kenny Jr. provided additional vocals on Kenny Sr.’s songs “What About Me?” in 1984 and, a year later, “The Heart Of The Matter”. He made a short-lived foray as a solo artist with his 1989 pop-rock album, “Yes – No/Maybe”, which produced a single, “Take Another Step Closer”.
The Texan produced and provided instrumentals for county boy band Marshall Dyllon for their debut album, “Enjoy The Ride,” in 2000.
As a composer, he worked on the feature films “Riders in the Storm”, 1995’s “Shenanigans” and “Pacino Is Missing”. His tracks appear on the soundtracks of “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping”, “Get Him to the Greek” and “Up All Night”.
Kenny Rogers gave his son one of the first MTV Moon Man Award statues
The composer may not have many shiny accolades, but he does have one of the first MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs), dubbed the Moon Man for his astronaut design.
Kenny Sr. received an award at the inaugural VMAs for his efforts on the iconic charity song “We Are The World.” His son revealed on a podcast that his father and Pat Benatar provided the funding to record the track.
Kenny Jr. was at home when his father returned from the awards show with the silver statuette, and award-winning Kenny Sr. presented the award to his son after saying it looked cool.
Kenny Rogers Jr. dated Tia Carrere
In his mid-twenties, Kenny Jr. was on the arm of one of the most beautiful actresses of the time, Tia Carrere. The ’80s duo walked a few red carpets as a couple.
They dated around 1986 before she rose to fame as a scene stealer in 1992’s “Wayne’s World” and its sequel a year later opposite Mike Myers and Dana Carvey.
The pair met through their mutual publicist, who asked born storyteller Kenny Jr. to take some of their clients with him to advertise. The singer was very good at making his way into the hottest nightclubs in Los Angeles.
Kenny Jr. learned from his father how to befriend the paparazzi to get better treatment from them. He was friends with another son of a notable person in the industry, Robert Downey Jr. He once said he was “amazed” watching his friends fall prey to their addictions.