Just three months ago, American icon Kenny Rogers was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. And now, last week in Phoenix, he picked up another career achievement, but this time it’s in recognition of his other talent and passion—photography.
Rogers received an honorary master of photography degree from Professional Photographers of America (PPA) at its annual conference, Imaging USA, during the PPA Award & Degree ceremony, last Tuesday night, Jan. 14, at Symphony Hall in Phoenix, where more than 145 award and degree recipients were honored. Prior to the ceremony, he gave an exclusive live Q&A with convention-goers, discussing his life and work. Rogers also shared photos from his forthcoming photography book, Places I’ve Been, Things I’ve Seen.
Imaging USA is the longest-running photography convention and expo in the nation. Up to 10,000 photographers attended, seeking education, inspiration, networking, exclusive parties and one of the nation’s largest photography trade shows to help boost their business for the year ahead.
“We could see in his work that Mr. Rogers is an accomplished photographer, but when we approached him about the honorary master’s degree, we were immediately impressed with his enthusiasm for photography,” said PPA president, Ralph Romaguera Sr., M.Photog.Cr., CPP, API, F-ASP. “He’s obviously well-known as an entertainer, but he truly is a remarkably talented photographer.”
“You start off doing something because you really love it, and it gives you great pleasure,” Rogers remarked. “With any luck at all, you get better. It was special to receive the highest honor that my photography has to offer. I felt a little intimidated but very flattered and somehow undeserving. What a thrill!”
Rogers is nominated for a Grammy Award with Dolly Parton in the Best Country Duo/Group Performance category for their duet, “You Can’t Make Old Friends,” the title track from Rogers’ new critically acclaimed Warner Bros. album. The 56th Annual Grammy Awards will take place this Sunday, January 26th, from the Staples Center in Los Angeles and will be broadcast on the CBS Television Network from 8-11:30 (ET/PT).