In 1977, country great Kenny Rogers had released his second solo studio album after leaving The First Edition in 1976. Come the 1978 GRAMMY Awards, Rogers famously took home his very first golden gramophone: Best Country Vocal Performance, Male, for his hit single "Lucille."
Written by Roger Bowling and Hal Bynum, the gentle country ballad was released in Jan. 1977 as the second and final single from Rogers' aforementioned sophomore release, the self-titled Kenny Rogers.
"I'm so glad I bought a new tux!" Rogers said jovially while accepting his GRAMMY. "This is really exciting for me. First of all, I would like to say that all of guys nominated are very good friends of mine, and that is equally important to me as being nominated."
Credited as one of the key artists to take country music to mainstream audiences in the '70s and '80s, Rogers, who passed away in March of this year, was one of the best-selling music artists of all time, counting more than 100 million records sold worldwide. Across his nearly six-decade career, he recorded and performed music across multiple genres, including rock 'n' roll, psychedelic rock, folk and country, and topped multiple genre charts in the U.S.
According to Billboard, Rogers notched 21 No. 1 hits on the Hot Country Songs chart and 12 chart-toppers on the Top Country Albums chart. His 1980 career-retrospective compilation album, Kenny Rogers' Greatest Hits, topped the all-genre Billboard 200 chart the year it was released, becoming his sole No. 1 release on that chart. He scored two No. 1 hit songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the U.S. with "Lady," his 1980 song written and produced by Lionel Richie, and "Islands In The Stream," his 1983 Bee Gees-penned duet with Dolly Parton.
In addition to his three GRAMMY wins and 19 overall nominations, Rogers received the Recording Academy's President's Merit Award in 1986. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame in 2013. He received the Country Music Association Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 and the Artist Of A Lifetime Award at the CMT Artists Of The Year 2015 award show, among many other lifetime awards and honors, according to his official bio.
Watch Rogers' history-making GRAMMY moment above.