Kenny Rogers announced his retirement in September after one final tour, putting the capper on a career that featured country classics like "The Gambler" and "Coward of the County," a string of acting roles and even his own chicken restaurant chain. But before he settles into domestic life, he'll add at least one more honor to his mantel. Next month, CMT will bestow him its "Artist of a Lifetime" award, presented by Ram Trucks. The ceremony is part of CMT's Artists of the Year broadcast, set for December 2nd in Nashville.
Currently on his Once Again It's Christmas Tour, Rogers has been a perennial holiday act. It's a role he's always relished, he told Rolling Stone Country earlier this year.
"My Christmas show is my chance to pass on to the world how I feel about Christmas," Rogers says. "We start it up on the East coast, where it's starting to snow, and people want to feel Christmas. They want to understand that there's a bigger reason in this world than just working and getting your paycheck."
In addition to singling out Rogers, CMT's Artists of the Year will spotlight five acts who had particularly successful years. Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Sam Hunt, Little Big Town and Florida Georgia Line make up the 2015 class. CMT's Artists of the Year airs live on December 2nd at 8:00 p.m. ET.