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Kenny Rogers Wants Wyclef Jean for ‘Killer Combinations’

Kenny Rogers
Frederick Breedon, Getty Images

Kenny Rogers is keeping busy this holiday season with his annual Christmas and Hits tour, and there’s plenty more new material to come from the legendary entertainer. He’s releasing an inspirational album called ‘For the Love of God,’ which includes a calendar of his original photography, with Cracker Barrel next year, and he’s set to continue working on his upcoming duets album, ‘Killer Combinations.’ For that, Rogers wants to pull in an old friend, Wyclef Jean, among others.

“It’s people you might not expect me to sing with and some that you would, like Dolly Parton and Lionel [Richie] — I’ll do something with them. Then a couple of rappers have talked to me about doing something,” Rogers tells Gannett.com.

“Wyclef Jean is a friend of mine, and he did ‘The Gambler’ on his record once before, and it was a pretty cool thing,” Rogers says. “He did a whole rap version of ‘The Gambler,’ and I sang — actually, spoke — part of the thing. I’d like to do something with him that’s musical, for lack of a better term, because he’s a very big guy in Haiti — that’s where he’s from — and I have a really good following down there. I think we could do something musically very interesting.”

For an artist whose career has spanned 50-plus years, and who has sold over 125 million albums, Rogers can clearly pave his own way to success. Even so, Rogers continues to challenge himself, and recording duets with other musicians is one way of doing that.

“It’s a little like running the 100-yard dash,” Rogers explains. “If someone says, ‘I’m gonna time you — run 100 yards as fast as you can,’ you will run it as fast as you think you can. But you put someone alongside you who runs a little faster, and you will inevitably run faster. I think that’s what happens with duets … It’s inspiring to work with people who come from different genres of music and take us to a different place than you would ever anticipate it going.”

For now, Rogers — who also just released his first live Christmas album, ‘Christmas Live’ — will continue his Christmas and Hits tour before celebrating the holidays with his family.

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