Country Music Legend Kris Kristofferson Quietly Retires

After years of dealing with memory loss

kris kristofferson retires
Kris Kristofferson in A Star Is Born (Warner Bros.)

    Country music Hall of Famer Kris Kristofferson has quietly announced his retirement. Via Rolling Stone, a press release detailing the management of his estate included the sentence, “The legendary songwriter and actor officially retired in 2020, leaving his son John Kristofferson to lead the family’s businesses.”

    The elder Kristofferson is best known for songs such as “Me and Bobby McGee”, his time in the supergroup The Highwaymen with Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson, and starring roles in films including 1976’s A Star Is Born, for which he won a Golden Globe.

    But in recent years, the 84-year-old has been suffering from memory loss. In a 2013 interview with FOX, he said “I wish my memory weren’t so bad. They tell me its from all the football and boxing and the concussions that I got. A couple of years ago my memory just started going. But I can remember my songs so I can perform, but other than that…”


    For his part, his son John seems to have embraced the role of archivist, and is already planning new releases. “It’s been amazing to dig in to my dad’s catalog and history with this seasoned group of professionals,” he said. “The name has always been synonymous with songwriting as an art, and we’re excited to reintroduce his work to new and old fans alike. We have many exciting projects in the works and I look forward to getting them out into the world.”

    Kristofferson won three Grammy Awards in the 1970s for his songs “Help Me Make It Through the Night”, “From the Bottle to the Bottom”, and “Lover Please”. In 2004, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and in 2014, he received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

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