In 2016, the CMA celebrated their 50th year by inviting rising country stars to sing songs from the past, the series was called Forever Country Covers. Mark Wills was one of those artists who was invited to perform. He covered an award-winning song of Kenny Rogers, “The Gambler.”
Forever Country Cover: “The Gambler” by Mark Wills
Mark Wills’ cover of Roger’s song was incredible. He maintains the original version of the song, and he even sounded like Kenny when he performed the song. He played an acoustic version of the song. This is one of the best cover versions of Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler.”
The Artist: Mark Wills
Mark Wills is a country singer who started his career in 1996. He released his first album Mark Wills which made it to the top 40 of the country albums chart. Mark has released seven studio albums from 1996 to 2011. In 2000, his highest performing album was Permanently. It peaked at No. 3 on the US Top Country Album chart. His album was Gold certified by RIAA. Wills’ most successful album was Wish You Were Here which was Platinum Certified by RIAA in 1999. His album peaked at No. 8 on the US Billboard Top Country Albums.
Top Performing Songs
His first song to enter the top of the chart was “Jacob’s Ladder” which peaked at No. 6. “Wish You Were Here” was Will’s first No.1 song on the Billboard chart. Other of his top performing songs were “I Do (Cherish You),” “Don’t Laugh at Me,” “Back at One,” and “19 Somethin.”
The Song: “The Gambler”
“The Gambler” went through different artists before it became known. Bobby Bare first recorded the song, but it wasn’t released. Don Schiltz song was also recorded by Johnny Cash in 1978, but it was Kenny Rogers who was able to record the most notable version of this song. This song made him win the Grammy Award for Best Male Vocal Performance in 1980. “The Gambler” was also nominated for Grammy Award for Record of the Year. This was Kenny Roger’s fourth No. 1 single on the chart.