Kenny
Rogers
is known by most people as a legendary country singer. However, he
was also the husband to his wife of more than 20 years, Wanda Miller. Here’s
how Kenny Rogers and Wanda Miller met.

Kenny Rogers says he was ‘dating around aimlessly’ before he met his wife

Wanda Miller and Kenny Rogers in 2014 | Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Celebrity Fight Night
Wanda Miller and Kenny Rogers in 2014 | Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Celebrity Fight Night

Before Rogers met Miller, he was dating casually. At the
time, none of the relationships were that serious. In his autobiography, Luck
or Something Like It
, Rogers says one of his dates was with a woman he met
through his friend Charlie Minor, who handled promotions for Capitol Records.   

Kenny Rogers first saw Wanda Miller at a restaurant

Kenny Rogers with his wife, Wanda Miller |  Christopher Polk/ACMA2012/Getty Images for ACM
Kenny Rogers with his wife, Wanda Miller | Christopher Polk/ACMA2012/Getty Images for ACM

Rogers met Miller while he was on a dinner date with the
woman Minor introduced him to. Miller was the hostess at the restaurant. According
to Rogers, the date wasn’t going as planned. Apparently, there wasn’t enough of
a spark between them to keep things going. “We both knew the food was great,
but the relationship wasn’t going anywhere,” Rogers said in his book. Here’s how
Rogers described the day he met Miller:

[My date and I] had chosen a little Italian restaurant called Pricci and were in the middle of our “getting to know each other” banter when the hostess walked by our table.

I’m honestly not sure she even looked at me, but I saw her. I don’t know what and I don’t know why, but there was just something incredibly different about her from the minute I saw her. She had a smile, not a hostess smile, but something more genuine, and believe it or not, it rocked me to my core.

Rogers called the restaurant to find out more about Miller

Kenny Rogers, Wanda Miller and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill | Christopher Polk/ACMA2012/Getty Images for ACM
Kenny Rogers, Wanda Miller and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill | Christopher Polk/ACMA2012/Getty Images for ACM

Out of respect for his date, Rogers didn’t approach Miller. However, after he dropped off the woman, he wondered who the hostess was and how he could see her again.

“I didn’t want to go back to the restaurant, but I didn’t want to miss this opportunity, if there was one,” wrote Rogers. He said his friend (Charlie Minor, the person who introduced him to his date) frequented the restaurant and was there the night of his date, so he asked who the hostess was. His friend told him to ask the manager, Jessie, for more information.

Jessie asked Rogers if he wanted to meet Miller. He then
said Miller was 21 years old. Rogers thought that was too young, since he was
54 years old at the time, so he declined the meeting. However, Minor later told
Rogers that Miller was actually 26 years old. Rogers changed his mind and
decided to take Miller on a date.

Wanda Miller’s parents weren’t thrilled with the age gap

Rogers and Miller were happy together, but her parents weren’t
thrilled about the nearly three-decade age gap. The country singer said he
understood their concerns, because he was two years older than her parents:

Wanda and I dated for almost six months before she worked up the nerve to tell her parents about me. Actually, I’m not sure whether she told them, or they read it in the tabloids. Either way, it was not pleasant. The fact that I was two years older than her parents put an awkward slant on things right from the start. Not for me, but I’m sure it would be troublesome to any caring parent, and I understood that.

Rogers and Miller overcame the difficulties they encountered
early in their relationship and enjoyed more than 20 years of marriage before his
death on March 20, 2020. In his autobiography, Rogers had this to say about his
relationship with Miller: “As wrong as it may have looked, I also knew this—my relationship
with Wanda felt right to me.”

Read more: The
Story Behind Kenny Rogers’ Song ‘Lucille’

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