“I really like him,” Rogers said of the controversial POTUS candidate who has riled Mexicans and Latinos and earned disapproval from numerous artists, from Rick Ross to Ricky Martin and Neil Young. “I think his problem is that he says what everyone wants to hear, but he doesn’t say it well. I love what he says, I have to admit. He can be president and not owe anybody anything; he’s one of the few people has the money to do it, and has the guts to do it. You’re biting off a lot by doing that. He believes everything he says: whether he’s right or not, he says what everybody fears.”
The retiring singer admitted his family doesn’t share his views. “My older sons laugh at me when I tell them that. They are Democrats that live in California – there’s no hope for them. They’ll vote for Hillary no matter what she does. She’s a friend of mine, I’m not trashing her.”
Rogers’ announced in September he would hang up his mic at the conclusion of his world tour next year, drawing an end to a Country Music Hall of Fame career in which he’s charted a record in each of the last seven decades and sold more than one hundred million records worldwide.
In his chat with The Guardian, the 77-year-old artist opened up on his plans after music (which include a theme park), the highs and lows of his career and, of course, Christmas.
On his decision to retire, he explained: “I get tired being out here. I’m gone a lot, I don’t see my family. In my book I wrote “There is a fine line between being driven and selfish,” and I think I was selfish a when I was younger. I’ve done everything there is, accomplished everything I want to accomplish, and now I want to be a good father. I don’t know how many more years I have, so I have to take them now.”
When asked if he would only quit touring, he revealed some grand plans inspired by his longtime friend and collaborator Dolly Parton. “I’ll be completely gone. No, 40 miles north of Atlanta, on an island, [will be] Kennyland or Kenny World. It’s going to be something really special.”
Rogers was formally inducted as a new member of the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville in October 2013 and received the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award at the 47th Annual CMA Awards in the same year. Over the course of a stellar career, he has received three Grammys, 11 People’s Choice Awards, 18 American Music Awards, eight Academy of Country Music awards and six CMA awards. He was honored as the CMT Artist of a Lifetime at a ceremony earlier this month to coincide with the release of his latest album, Once Again It’s Christmas.