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Lady (Kenny Rogers song)

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Single by Kenny Rogers
from the album Greatest Hits
B-side"Sweet Music Man"
ReleasedSeptember 29, 1980 (U.S.)
StudioConcorde Recording, Los Angeles[1]
LabelLiberty 1380
Songwriter(s)Lionel Richie
Producer(s)Lionel Richie
Kenny Rogers singles chronology
"Don't Fall in Love with a Dreamer"
"What Are We Doin' in Love"
"Kenny Rogers - Lady" on YouTube

"Lady" is a song written by Lionel Richie and first recorded by American country music artist Kenny Rogers. It was released in September 1980 on the album Kenny Rogers' Greatest Hits.

It is listed at number 60 on Billboard's "Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs".[4]

Song history[edit]

The song was written and produced by Lionel Richie, recorded in 1980, and ranks among Kenny Rogers's biggest hits. Rogers once told an interviewer,

The idea was that Lionel would come from R&B and I'd come from country, and we'd meet somewhere in pop.[5]

The success of "Lady" also boosted Richie's career. The production work on the song was his first outside the Commodores and foreshadowed his success as a solo act during the 1980s. Rogers was also a featured vocalist on "We Are the World", co-written by Richie. Richie performed "Lady" himself on his 1998 album, Time, and he and Rogers performed the song as a duet on Richie's 2012 release Tuskegee. Richie had originally pitched this song to the Commodores and they turned it down. Then later, it was given to Rogers to record, and it became the biggest selling hit single for him as a solo artist.

When asked about his personal favorite song during an October 1986 appearance on The Phil Donahue Show, Rogers responded that "'Lady' is head and shoulders above almost all the songs in the world".[6]

Since his breakup with the First Edition, Rogers had tasted considerable success as a solo act, with nine number one entries on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart (prior to the release of "Lady"), plus several top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks charts.

"Lady", according to music historian Fred Bronson, would prove to be an important record for both Richie and Rogers.[5] It became the first record of the 1980s to chart on all four of Billboard's singles charts – country, Hot 100, adult contemporary and Hot Soul Singles.[5]

It reached number one on three of those charts in late 1980. On the Hot 100, "Lady" reached the summit on 15 November and stayed at the top for a massive six-week stint (tying with Blondie's "Call Me" for the longest run of the year). On 27 December, it would be knocked out of the top spot by "(Just Like) Starting Over" by John Lennon. On the Hot Country Singles chart, it would spend a week at the summit. "Lady" also peaked at number 42 on the Hot Soul Singles chart.[7]

As a country entry, "Lady" was Rogers' 10th chart-topping hit in a career that saw him collect 20 number one songs between 1977 and 2000. On the Hot 100, it was his only solo chart-topping song, although Rogers would have a duet number one three years later (1983's "Islands in the Stream" with Dolly Parton).[5] On the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart, "Lady" was Rogers' second (of eight) songs that reached the chart's summit. Billboard ranked it at the number three song for 1981.


All-time charts[edit]

Chart (1958–2018) Position
US Billboard Hot 100[27] 60

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Lion Share Recording Studios: What the Proceeds from a Couple of Decades of Hits can Buy!" (PDF). Recording Engineer/Producer. April 1982. Retrieved February 29, 2024.
  2. ^ a b Molanphy, Chris (November 5, 2020). "Friends in Low Places Edition". Hit Parade | Music History and Music Trivia (Podcast). Slate. Retrieved November 1, 2022.
  3. ^ Breihan, Tom (July 29, 2020). "The Number Ones: Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton's "Islands In The Stream". Stereogum. Retrieved July 28, 2023. ...Kenny Rogers...linked up with a surging Lionel Richie to make 1980's "Lady", a fine piece of soft-soul smolder...
  4. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 Chart 50th Anniversary". Billboard. Archived from the original on December 29, 2012. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d Bronson, Fred (1988). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits. New York: Billboard Publications. p. 533. Retrieved June 4, 2024 – via Internet Archive.
  6. ^ "Phil Donahue Show w/Kenny Rogers: 10-7-1986". Youtube. Retrieved July 17, 2023.
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 499.
  8. ^ "Cash Box - International Best Sellers" (PDF). worldradiohistory.com. Cash Box. 16 May 1981. p. 53.
  9. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 256. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  10. ^ a b "National Top 100 Singles for 1981". Kent Music Report. January 4, 1982. p. 7. Retrieved January 11, 2022 – via Imgur.
  11. ^ "Kenny Rogers – {{{song}}}" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  12. ^ Nanda Lwin (1999). Top 40 Hits: The Essential Chart Guide. Music Data Canada. ISBN 1-896594-13-1.
  13. ^ "Kenny Rogers – {{{song}}}" (in French). Les classement single.
  14. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Kenny Rogers" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  15. ^ "Kenny Rogers – {{{song}}}". Top 40 Singles.
  16. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". The South African Rock Encyclopedia. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  17. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  18. ^ Kenny Rogers UK Charts history Archived 2011-12-24 at the Wayback Machine, The Official Charts. Retrieved September 10, 2011.
  19. ^ "Kenny Rogers Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  20. ^ "Kenny Rogers Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  21. ^ "Kenny Rogers Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  22. ^ "Kenny Rogers topped the pop charts with "Lady"". Dave's Music Database. November 15, 1980.
  23. ^ "Top 100 Pop Singles". Cashbox Magazine. Archived from the original on September 15, 2012. Retrieved July 22, 2015.
  24. ^ "Top 100 Singles of 1981". RPM. Archived from the original on August 28, 2017. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  25. ^ "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1981". The South African Rock Encyclopedia. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
  26. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1981/Top 100 Songs of 1981". Music Outfitters. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  27. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved December 10, 2018.


  • Whitburn, Joel, "Top Country Songs: 1944-2005," 2006.
  • Whitburn, Joel, "Top Pop Singles: 1955-2006," 2007.

External links[edit]