Scored countless country and pop hits during the 1970s and '80s, including "The Gambler," "Lady," "Lucille" and "She Believed in Me."
Influences include Ray Charles, whom he saw in concert when he was 12.
Sang in a church choir and with glee clubs during school.
Played in a rockabilly band, the Scholars, during high school; and pursued a solo career after graduation, even appearing on American Bandstand in 1957 in support of the modest hit "That Crazy Feeling."
Played bass with the Bobby Doyle Trio, a jazz combo, for a time in 1959.
Joined the New Christy Minstrels in 1966 after auditioning over the telephone.
Left the New Christy Minstrels in 1967 with several other members to form the First Edition, whose first hit, "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)," was written by singer-songwriter Mickey Newbury, an old high-school buddy.
Moved to Nashville after departing the First Edition in 1974.
Duet partners have included Kim Carnes, Sheena Easton, Dolly Parton and Dottie West.
Named the "Favorite Singer of All Time" in a 1986 PM Magazine-USA Today poll.
Has published several books of his photographic work.
Involved with several charities, including the Kenny Rogers Children's Center and the Athens Area Homeless Shelter.
1990, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Country Music Performer: Winner
1986, People's Choice Awards — Favorite Country Music Performer: Winner