Don Henley shares stirring advice given to him by the late Kenny Rogers in emotional tribute

Publish Date
Monday, 23 March 2020, 12:17PM
Don Henley has paid tribute to his mentor Kenny Rogers / Getty Images

Don Henley has paid tribute to his mentor Kenny Rogers / Getty Images

Rock legend Don Henley has opened up about what the late Kenny Rogers really meant to him. 

Many may not realise the pivotal role Rogers played in the career of Henley, however the Eagles frontman has revealed his deep connection with "the Gambler" following his passing on Saturday night.  

Before Henley was filling arenas and stadiums with the Eagles, he was part of a band called Shiloh in the late '60s.

After Rogers heard the band in 1969, he secured them a record deal and, while taking on the role of producer of their self-titled 1971 album, he brought them to Los Angeles, where Henley first met Glen Frey and his future Eagles bandmates. 

"Fifty years ago, The Gambler took a gamble on me and my first band from small-town Texas, and his big-hearted support launched many careers, including mine,"

Henley further reveals some great advice that was instilled in him by the country legend.

"He also gave me some of the best career advice I ever got: 'You’d better be nice to the people you meet on the way up, because you’re going to meet those same people on the way back down.'" 

Read Henley's statement in full below.

In addition to his tremendous talent, Kenny was a generous and caring man, a wise mentor to so many of us. He loved his friends, his family, his fellow musicians and his fans, and they loved him, right back. Fifty years ago, The Gambler took a gamble on me and my first band from small-town Texas, and his big-hearted support launched many careers, including mine. He also gave me some of the best career advice I ever got: 'You’d better be nice to the people you meet on the way up, because you’re going to meet those same people on the way back down.' Kenny had been struggling with a number of health issues for some time. He fought the good fight for as long as he could, but he was tired, and he was ready to make his exit. I’m just grateful that I got visit with him in the hospital, about six weeks ago, and convey my gratitude to him for all he did for me. RIP, my friend. Thanks for all the gladness you gave us.

Many other stars have paid tribute to Kenny Rogers, including Keith Urban, Lionel Richie and long time singing partner Dolly Parton.