Thursday, February 22, 2024

Hollywood Mega Music Manager Ken Kragen Dies at 85, Put Together “We Are the World” Had Clients Lionel Richie, Kenny Rogers, More


Ken Kragen, a beloved Hollywood mega manager, has died at age 85. The manager of both Kenny Rogers and Lionel Richie among others, Kragen put together the “We Are the World” project in 1985. He was involved in the top of showbiz from the 1960s when he produced “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” on CBS. In addition to Lionel and Kenny he also managed acts like The Bee Gees, Olivia Newton-John, Burt Reynolds, and Trisha Yearwood.

Kragen was also involved in many charities. He knew how to raise money and was a star at getting other stars to participate. He organized Hands Across America and worked with the late Harry Chapin on hunger causes. His USA for Africa, the group that made “We Are the World” — with a star studded cast singing a song written by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson — made $64 million that was given to charities in Africa.

All the hits from Lionel Richie and Kenny Rogers, together and apart, were masterminded by Kenny Kragen. RIP. He was married for 43 years to the same woman, Cathy Worthington. Their daughter Emma posted the notice below.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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