Kenny Rogers’ “Lady” continues to make women swoon with the smooth combination of the legendary singer’s velvety voice and an incredibly well-written story of undying love.
Originally recorded in 1980 for Kenny Rogers’ Greatest Hits, the song became groundbreaking for the music industry after the prominent country influence that Rogers was able to pull from his long worn cowboy boot. “Lady” became the first record of the 1980s to chart on all four of Billboard magazine’s singles charts: US Country Songs, Adult Contemporary, Hot 100, and Top Soul Singles. It reached No. 1 on three of those charts.
A Song About A Man’s Undying Love
Written by the one-and-only Lionel Richie, “Lady” sings about a man’s undying love.
“Lady, I’m your knight in shining armor, and I love you. You have made me what I am, and I’m yours. My love, there’s so many ways I want to say I love you. Let me hold you in my arms, forevermore,” the song begins.
Kenny Rogers reached out to Lionel Richie, asking him to write a song for him. “The idea was that Lionel would come from R&B, and I’d come from country, and we’d meet somewhere in pop,” Rogers once said in an interview.
At first, Richie said he was too busy to do so, but when Rogers told him the song was going to be part of his album Greatest Hits, and would probably sell five to six million copies, Richie quickly changed his mind.
Richie revealed the origins of the song “Lady” during a two-hour TV special titled A&E Biography: Kenny Rogers. “I’m not used to pitching songs, but I had this song called, ‘Baby,'” Richie said. “I land in Vegas, and all I prepared is the first verse, the way I would normally do it for the Commodores.”
Richie said Rogers started talking to him about recently marrying his fourth wife, Marianne Gordon. “Before you do your song, let me tell you, I married a lady, like a real lady. A country boy like me from Houston, Texas, what I am doing with a lady?” Rogers told Richie. And the legendary singer continued, “She’s got such taste, such class, such style, and she’s such a lady.” He then asked Richie, “Oh, by the way, what’s the name of your song?” to which Richie laughingly answered, “Lady.”
But what’s even more interesting was the fact that Richie finished one of the biggest hit songs of all time in a bathroom.
When Rogers asked Richie for “Lady,” it was not yet ready. The problem was that Richie had not yet finished the second verse, and there’s no way he was going to live it down. So Richie decided to head to the bathroom to have a quiet place while finishing the song.
“I was in the bathroom, on the counter, because I didn’t realize Kenny was going to get it so fast,” Richie recalled. “He started sending toilet paper back and said, ‘Do you have the second verse.’ I said, ‘no I got the second verse, just hold on for a minute.'” And the rest was history. “Lady” then turned out to be an important record for both Kenny Rogers and Lionel Richie.
Watch Kenny Rogers’ performance of “Lady” in the video below and prepare to be blown away!