Lady – Kenny Rogers

THIS DAY IN MUSIC……………………………………on November 15th of 1980 Kenny Rogers enjoyed his only solo, US Pop chart number one with “Lady”. The Lionel Richie penned tune would also top the Country and Adult Contemporary charts and reach #12 in the UK. Lionel Richie wrote this song especially for Rogers. When Motown Records’ publishing company, Jobete Music, told the Country and Pop singer that Lionel Richie wanted to write a song for him, he immediately flew to Las Vegas to meet him. Richie played a demo to Rogers, who loved the song and within a fortnight had recorded it. He said, “I love songs that are female orientated and that’s the market I wanna get.”The Metro newspaper asked Richie if he’d kept it for himself. He replied: “Just the opposite. When I wrote the song for Kenny, I called my lawyer and said: ‘If I put my voice on this it’s going to be a smash, I want it.’ My lawyer said: ‘If you give it to Kenny, it will be bigger than you ever thought.’ Now this was true. What I did not realize was that not only did I have my crowd, I picked up all of Kenny’s following too. And that happened to be the rest of the world.” Lionel Richie told Entertainment Weekly that this has been his most profitable song. Said Richie: “I have an estate that ‘Lady’ bought.” Since his breakup with the First Edition, Rogers had tasted considerable success as a solo act, with nine No. 1 entries on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart (prior to the release of “Lady”), plus several Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary Singles charts.