Kenny Rogers Had a Tough Time Winning Over His Wife’s Parents

Kenny Rogers and Wanda Miller’s love story had some bumps in the road. He won Miller’s heart, but he had a tough time winning over her parents. Here’s what Rogers once said about their bumpy beginnings.

It took almost 6 months for Wanda to tell her parents she was dating Kenny Rogers

Kenny Rogers and Wanda Miller | Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images
Kenny Rogers and Wanda Miller | Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images

Rogers wasn’t sure if Miller told her parents about him or if they learned about the relationship from the tabloids. The big problem for the couple was the 28-year age difference between them. At the time, Wanda was 26 years old.

“It was not pleasant,” wrote Rogers in his book Luck or Something Like It. “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 said the timing wasn’t great because it was right after his phone sex scandal. He suspected his age and the scandal made things look bad for him. “Even I knew how bad it looked for all of us,” wrote Rogers.

“But as wrong as it may have looked, I also knew this—my relationship with Wanda felt right to me,” Rogers continued. “After allowing her mother and father to explain their concerns in a phone call, I assured them that I respected their feelings. I made them a promise that I would never lie to Wanda, and I would never lie to them.”

Kenny Rogers met Wanda’s father first

Rogers started by meeting Wanda’s father, Charles. Overall, their meeting went well. Initially, Rogers was concerned because their relationship didn’t align with what Miller’s parents wanted for her.

Our arrangement, on the surface, was against everything both he and her mother believed in. To his credit, I believe that when Charles came to Vegas, he saw that we had a respectable life.

We didn’t drink, we didn’t smoke, and we weren’t doing drugs, so I’m sure he felt that he could relax a bit. I’m also sure he had no idea what Wanda saw in a man my age, but he trusted and respected his daughter enough to allow her to make her own decisions. That took a lot of strength for a father, I know.

Kenny Rogers in ‘Luck or Something Like It’

Kenny Rogers had a tense meeting with Wanda’s mother

Wanda Miller, Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford and Kenny Rogers on the "Today" show |  Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty Images
Wanda Miller, Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford and Kenny Rogers on the “Today” show | Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Rogers planned to meet Wanda’s mother, Tina, next. He was relieved his visit went well with Charles, but now he had to convince her mother he was a good man who had the best of intentions. Rogers met Tina during the Florida Strawberry Festival event in Plant City, Florida. “I was determined to make her see how happy Wanda and I were. Her blessing would be crucial,” wrote Rogers.

Rogers’ meeting with Tina proved to be one he wouldn’t forget. They met while she gave him an unexpected haircut. Miller was supposed to give Rogers a haircut, but when the door opened, it was Tina, scissors in hand.

Wanda and I were set up for her to give me a haircut in one of these dressing rooms. When Tina came in, I was surprised and shocked. This was not how I had hoped our first meeting would be. As I started to stand up for Wanda to introduce us, Tina politely said, ‘Keep your seat,’ and I did. As she came around behind me, I noticed she had taken the scissors from Wanda. Tina simply said, ‘May I?’

Kenny Rogers in ‘Luck or Something Like It’

Rogers was nervous about Tina being so close to his throat with a pair of scissors, but he remained seated. Tina wasn’t thrilled about an older man dating her daughter, but she said she noticed how happy Wanda was. “I want you to know I don’t respect what you’re doing with my daughter,” said Tina. “But she seems happy, and that’s what’s important to me.”

Rogers said it was a tense moment, but he got a great haircut—and acceptance from Miller’s parents– out of the ordeal. “I left Plant City with a feeling that while we might not have had their blessings, we had her mom and dad’s acceptance, and that was big for both of us.”

Read more: Kenny Rogers Almost Left Music for Acting

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