Kris Kristofferson is hanging it up. The 84-year-old country artist and performer revealed on Wednesday that he has officially retired from touring, recording, and acting. According to his statement, the decision was quietly made in 2020 but has only now been made known to the public.
Along with his retirement, Kristofferson has also handed control of the family business to his son, John Kristofferson, and his estate will be represented by Morris Higham Management, who will continue to manage his indie record label KK Records.
“It’s been amazing to dig in to my dad’s catalog and history with this seasoned group of professionals,” John Kristofferson said of his father’s announcement in a statement. “MHM and [public relations director] Tamara [Savino] are experts on everything from old Nashville to the up-and-comers, and I can’t imagine a better partnership to bring the full depth of his songwriting to a new generation. The [Kristofferson] 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.”
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Morris Higham Management currently manages the estate of late country singer-songwriter Roger Miller, as well as contemporaries such as Kenny Chesney, Brantley Gilbert, and many more. The Nashville-based management company will spearhead a number of special projects for Kristofferson including several to be revealed on his 85th birthday, June 22nd, 2021.
Prior to the pandemic, Kristofferson had continued to perform live and gave his last performance back on January 30th last year aboard the fifth annual Outlaw Country Cruise, where he closed his set with “Please Don’t Tell Me How The Story Ends”. Concerns over the musician’s health became more prevalent in recent years, as Kristofferson became prone to forgetting his lyrics during performances. While some feared the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, his family maintained that it was the cause of a medication imbalance that was eventually remedied with a diagnosis of Lyme Disease that went untreated for nearly a decade. It is believed Kristofferson contracted the disease while filming the 2006 movie Disappearances, which required him to lie on the jungle floor for hours at a time.
His latest album, The Cedar Creek Sessions, was released in 2016 and was met with critical acclaim and received a Grammy nomination for Best Americana Album.
Watch Kris Kristofferson perform “Please Don’t Tell Me How the Story Ends” from what proved to be his final live performance. A fan-shot video of the entire concert is also available.
Kris Kristofferson – “Please Don’t Tell Me How the Story Ends” – Outlaw Country Cruise – 1/30/20
Kris Kristofferson – Outlaw Country Cruise – 1/30/20 – Full Show
[Video: P. Rib King]
[H/T Saving Country Music]