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Kenny Rogers booked Corn Palace Christmas show

Kenny Rogers last performed at the Corn Palace in 2010.

Kenny Rogers is coming back to the Corn Palace, and this time he’s bringing a friend.

Rogers, a 75-year-old country music legend best known for his song “The Gambler,” will perform Dec. 19 at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, with special guest Linda Davis, according to Corn Palace Director Mark Schilling. The show will be part of Rogers’ “Christmas and Hits” tour.

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Tickets will go on sale Oct. 1 for $55. Approximately 2,600 tickets will be available, Schilling said, all for reserved seating.

Schilling said he was not planning to announce Rogers’ return to Mitchell until Oct. 1, but the show recently appeared on several websites.

“We’re very pleased to have him coming back, especially after the success last time,” Schilling said.

Rogers was the headline act on the first night of the 2010 Corn Palace Festival. The show drew 3,148 people, the biggest crowd in recent festival history, Schilling said.

Though he speculated that a Christmas-themed show might not draw another record crowd, Schilling still expects a big turnout.

“It’s not going to be the same show you saw at the Corn Palace Festival,” he said. “It has some of the hits, but it’s going to be a Christmas show as well.”

Rogers has sold millions of records during a career that has spanned more than 40 years. He rose to fame as the leader of The First Edition, a 1960s soft-rock group, and then morphed to a country singer in the late 1970s.

By the 1980s, Rogers was a star, selling out concerts, releasing chart-topping singles and appearing in movies and on television. In April, the Country Music Association announced Rogers would be one of three inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame this year.

Davis, 50, is a Grammy Award-winning country music singer who has recorded five solo albums and has released more than 15 singles.