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CMT to honor Kenny Rogers with benefit concert special

Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie and Michael McDonald will perform during the CMT Giants Kenny Rogers: A Benefit for MusiCares tribute April 8. Photo courtesy of CMT
Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie and Michael McDonald will perform during the "CMT Giants Kenny Rogers: A Benefit for MusiCares" tribute April 8. Photo courtesy of CMT

April 2 (UPI) -- CMT will host a benefit concert special in honor of late country music star Kenny Rogers.

The network shared plans in a press release Thursday for CMT Giants Kenny Rogers: A Benefit for MusiCares, a tribute celebrating the life and music of Rogers, who died March 20 at age 81.

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The TV special will air April 8 at 8 p.m. ET on CMT, and feature virtual performances and interviews from Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, Michael McDonald, Gavin DeGraw, Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires, Jennifer Nettles, Lady Antebellum, Randy Houser, Rascal Flatts, Vince Gill and more.

In addition, the tribute will feature rare archival photos, interviews and performances, along with clips and commentary from Rogers himself.

"Kenny Rogers transcended genres and generations with his musical versatility, legendary collaborations and timeless appeal, and we're honored to pay tribute to his legacy," CMT executive producer Margaret Comeaux said.

"Particularly in these turbulent times, we'll stop and take a moment to allow the memory of our dear friend Kenny to bring us together and inspire us to lend support to those in the music community who are most in need," she added.

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During the special, fans will have the opportunity to donate to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund, which benefits those in the music industry who are struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic. Half of the money raised will go to the Nashville country music community.

Rogers will also be honored during the ACM Presents: Our Country music special Sunday on CBS. Luke Bryan, Darius Rucker and Brad Paisley will perform a tribute to Rogers during the TV special, hosted by Gayle King.

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