Following Kenny Rogers’ March 20 death, Capitol Nashville has serviced his song “Goodbye” to radio.
Though it’s unclear exactly when the track was recorded, the swelling ballad was one of the last songs Rogers recorded for Capitol Records, according to the label. “Those closest to Kenny wanted to make this track available to all of this fans,” the label stated.
Even though it has not been released by Capitol, the song did appear on Kenny Rogers: The First 50 Years, a 45-track compilation released by Time Life in 2009, as one of three previously unreleased tunes. Take a listen below:
Written by Lionel Richie — who also penned Rogers’ mega-hit “Lady,” a No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit for the country-pop star — the song features a protagonist saying goodbye to a loved one. In the current context, it takes on a deeper meaning through such lyrics as “There’s peace in where you are, may be all I need to know/ And if I listen to my heart I’ll hear your laughter once more.”
Immediately following the superstar’s death at age 81, on-demand U.S. streams of Rogers’ catalog of songs surged 1,687% on March 21 and 22 (versus the two previous days), according to initial reports to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.