Radio Stations Will Play “Goodbye,” A Resurrected Kenny Rogers Song Composed By Friend Lionel Richie

ByQuyen Anne

Feb 3, 2024

Capitol Records Nashville is set to service one of the last tracks the 81-year-old Kenny Rogers ever recorded before his death earlier this March on radio — the moving Lionel Richie ballad Goodbye. The move to play the newly resurfaced track comes just one week after Rogers died at his home in Sandy Springs, Georgia.

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While the Lionel Richie song did appear in 2009 on the 45-track compilation Kenny Rogers: The First 50 Years, according to The Coast, this will be the first time that Capitol Records has released the song. “Those closest to Kenny wanted to make this track available to all of his fans,” the label said in a press release, according to The Coast.

Following the superstar’s death, the poignant song takes on even more meaning, as if the record label wanted to wish Rogers one last farewell with lyrics like “I never thought there’d come a time that our story would end” and “It’s not easy to say goodbye.” Fans and fellow musicians across the globe also took to social media to remember the country star’s legacy, including Lionel Richie himself.

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“Today I lost one of my closest friends ????So much laughter so many adventures to remember, my heart is broken… My prayers go out to Kenny’s Family.????” Richie wrote on social media, accompanied by a photo of the two musicians on stage together.
In a decades long career that will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on music history, Rogers made many friends across the music industry, collaborating and performing with legends like Dolly Parton often. In fact, he was well known for his duets with Dottie West and Parton, according to AllMusic.

According to People, Richie and Rogers became friends quickly after meeting each other in 1980. Rogers, who didn’t write his own songs most of the time, asked to see if Richie could write him a power ballad. Two weeks after the request, Richie had written Lady, which his current group the Commodores didn’t want. So Richie sent the track to Rogers, and it went on to be a number one hit while also sparking what would become a four-decade friendship.  “When ‘Lady’ came out, it was an explosion onto the music scene,” Richie told People. As time went on, the pair got closer and closer — so much so that Rogers became his mentor, like an older brother.

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“Everything that happened in my life, truthfully, from that moment on, had a Kenny Rogers stamp on it,” Richie told People. “I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor. When I was going through everything, leaving the Commodores, trying to be a solo artist, trying to figure out what that means — he was that guy.”

Given their close friendship and musical relationship, it’s fitting that Richie penned one of Rogers’ final tracks, his final ballad, his swan song.

What do you think of Kenny Rogers’ rendition of Goodbye? Let us know and make sure to pass this on to other Kenny Rogers fans. 

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