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Kim Carnes added to lineup of CMT GIANTS Kenny Rogers: A Benefit for MusiCares special

Veteran pop singer and songwriter Kim Carnes has joined the lineup of the CMT GIANTS Kenny Rogers: A Benefit for MusiCares special, which premieres this Wednesday, April 8, at 8 p.m. ET on CMT.

Carnes, who is best known for her chart-topping 1981 solo smash “Bette Davis Eyes,” also scored two hit collaborative hits with the late Kenny Rogers — 1980’s “Don’t Fall in Love with a Dreamer” and 1984’s “What About Me?,” the latter of which also featured James Ingram.

Meanwhile, actress and singer Rita Wilson has been selected as the host of the special.

The program serves as a musical celebration of life for Rogers and raises money for MusiCares’ COVID-19 Relief Fund and features performances and interviews with many of Kenny’s famous friends and fans. The show’s previous announced lineup includes Lionel Richie, Michael McDonald, Gavin DeGraw and country stars Dolly Parton, Lady Antebellum, Vince Gill and Rascal Flatts and more.

The stars will not only perform Rogers’ songs, but also reflect on his impact. Additionally, fans will be able to make donations to MusiCares’ COVID-19 Relief Fund, which provides financial aid to those in the music industry who have suffered loss of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wilson and her husband, actor Tom Hanks, recently returned to the U.S. after spending two weeks in quarantine in Australia after they were diagnosed there with COVID-19.

Half of the proceeds raised during the CMT GIANTS Kenny Rogers: A Benefit for MusiCares broadcast will go directly to the country music community in Nashville.

After the special’s premiere, an encore presentation will air Friday, April 10, on MTV Live at 8 p.m. ET/PT, and Saturday, April 11, on CMT at noon ET/PT.

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Kenny Rogers streams surge in the days following his death

After hearing the sad news that Kenny Rogers had passed away on Saturday, fans turned to streaming and other music outlets in huge numbers to remember the country icon.

According to Nielsen Music/MRC initial reports, Billboard explains, streams of Kenny’s music jumped 1,687% from the previous two days on March 21 and 22. The singer’s death was first announced on March 21. The surge amounts to a total of 18 million streams on those days, as opposed to one million on the two days before the news broke.

Kenny’s mega-hit “The Gambler” was among the highest-gaining songs of his catalogue. Digital sales of the track leapt 12,671%, and on-demand U.S. streams of the tune jumped from 253,000 to 3.7 million, up 1,377%.

Overall, digital sales of the star’s catalogue surged, too. Sales of his albums jumped 7,709% with a total of 15,000 copies sold on the three days after his death was announced, according to initial reports.

Billboard reports that Kenny’s surge in popularity likely won’t stop there, explaining that industry forecasters predict that his 2018 greatest hits album, The Best of Kenny Rogers: Through the Years, might even notch 25,000 equivalent album units for the week of March 26. That could place his project at No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart. It would be the singer’s first time hitting the top spot on that list since 1985, when he debuted at No. 1 with The Heart of the Matter.

Kenny passed away of natural causes on March 20 while in hospice care and surrounded by his family. He was 81.

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Brantley Gilbert Takes It Local While on Tour

For his upcoming Fire’t Up Tour, Brantley Gilbert is partnering with Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) to purchase a selection of products for catering on each concert stop, spotlighting the value locally sourced meats, dairy and produce can make on each community.

… Bringing things full circle on tour, Brantley is also associating with Musically Fed, a non-profit that distributes excess food each night to organizations tackling hunger in each market.