Why Kenny Rogers Had Regrets About His Plastic Surgery

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Kenny Rogers was one of the most prolific country singers of the 1970s, '80s, and '90s. Known for his chart-topping hits like "The Gambler," "Lady," and "She Believes in Me," as well as his duets with Dolly Parton such as "Islands in the Stream," Rogers was both a music and TV superstar.

With his signature beard and sunglasses, coupled with that oh-so-smooth singing voice, the Grammy winner made fans swoon as he took the stage to croon his love songs during a career that lasted more than six decades. But in the late 1990s, Rogers underwent several plastic surgery procedures that drastically changed his face and made him almost unrecognizable to fans. 

The invasive procedures would turn out to be one of Rogers' biggest controversies. He slowed his turning schedule down before ending his career with a farewell tour starting in 2017, per Rolling Stone. Rogers died on March 20, 2020 of natural causes. Here's what he said about his plastic surgeries before his death.

Kenny Rogers admitted he tried to keep himself relevant by changing his appearance

As he got older, Kenny Rogers admitted he felt the need to revamp himself to compete with younger newcomers in the music scene. In his 2013 memoir "Luck or Something Like It," Rogers revealed that he started thinking about making over his image for fear that his time in the business would be "limited" if he didn't make a change (via Showbiz Cheat Sheet).

He went to a top plastic surgeon for procedures on his face and an eyelid lift. In 2006, Rogers told People that he wasn't pleased with the results of his eye job. "I'm not happy about it," he admitted. "(The surgeon) is going to go in and fix that for me. They're too tight around the eyelids for me. It drives me crazy. If we can fix that, then I'll be glad I did it. If we can't fix it, I'll regret it or get used to it."

In a 2012 sit-down with "CBS This Morning," Rogers admitted that his decision to have surgery was partly out of boredom and partly to change his image during a career lull. "I had the money to do it and I had time off," he said. "And, I regret that, but the truth is, I don't know what I would have looked like if I hadn't done it."

Kenny Rogers and pal Dolly Parton used to laugh about his plastic surgeries

Kenny Rogers told People in 2006 that his longtime friend and duet partner Dolly Parton used to "kid" him about his plastic surgery. And during an interview with Anderson Cooper (via The Boot), Rogers said he had "a lot of money and a lot of time" on his hands and simply thought "What the hell, I'll go do something." "Dolly and I used to laugh about it," he told Cooper. "It was all for the sake of what I thought was looking better."

In a 2013 interview with ABC News, Rogers even joked, "Dolly used to say, 'Look, ol' Kenny's been to Jiffy Suck again.'" In the same interview, Parton noted that Rogers had "really grown into his face-lift," and she added, "He looks great."

But while speaking with the Knoxville News Sentinel in 2011, Parton revealed that she has been "very careful" about not doing "a lot" when it comes to plastic surgery for herself. The "Jolene" singer added that with Botox and other fillers now readily available, going under the knife isn't as necessary as some may have thought it was back in the day. She said she'd never want to do a "whole big deal at once where you look different." "You have to be careful with that," Parton said.

Other country stars have been rumored to have plastic surgery

While plastic surgery is rampant in Hollywood, stars in the country music scene haven't been as forthcoming about whether they've gone under the knife. Reba McEntire has long been the subject of plastic surgery rumors, but she once insisted that she would never go there. "I don't do Botox," she told OK! Magazine in 2009. "I just don't do it. Everybody else can, it's fine with me. I don't. It's botulism, so I didn't want to put that in my body. I think plastic surgery's great if that's what you want to do."

There has also been buzz that Shania Twain had some tweaks to keep herself looking youthful. An article in Life & Style noted that Twain appears to do Botox and fillers, and she may have undergone other procedures to plump up her cheeks and tighten up her jawline.

And while Wynonna Judd has also spawned plastic surgery rumors, it's her sister Ashley who has actually admitted to doing Botox — but it's not for the reasons you think. In 2020, Ashley clapped back at critics who questioned if she had cosmetic procedures done. In a Facebook post, she admitted that she regularly received Botox injections to help her deal with "siege migraines" that had made her sick for months. "Have I had Botox?" Ashley wrote. "It is a standard treatment for the ailment that I experience. My union insurance pays for thirty-one injections every twelve weeks."