The TJ Martell Foundation's 8th annual Nashville Honors Gala is set for Feb. 29, and country icon Kenny Rogers will be among the evening's honorees.

Rogers will be presented with the Tony Martell Lifetime Entertainment Achievement Award. Also being celebrated at the 2016 event are Nashville's own Aubrey Harwell (Spirit of Nashville Award), Brian Philips (Frances Preston Outstanding Music Industry Achievement Award) and Jennifer Pietenpol, Ph.D., (Medical Research Advancement Award). Nashville star Charles Esten is returning to host the gala, and Chris Young, Don Henley, Joe WalshRonnie Milsap and Ruby Wilson are set to perform at the event.

The TJ Martell Foundation was founded to assist in funding research to help fight leukemia, cancer and AIDS at hospitals across the U.S., including at the Frances Williams Preston Laboratories at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Music City. The Honors Gala is the one of the foundation's biggest events, having raised over $3.5 million for the cause since 2009.

Rogers has been in the country music industry for over four decades, and he attributes a lot of his success to some good advice he received from his mom when he was young.

“My mom told me when I was young, she said, ‘Son, always be happy where you are. Never be content to be there, but if you’re not happy where you are, you’ll never be happy,'” he says. “So even in the down parts of my career, I’d have to stop and say, ‘Hey, I’m still making music. This is all I ever set out to do. Everything else is a bonus.’

“And, I think, with that attitude — I’m always amazed at how much people will do for people they like and how much they won’t do for people they don’t like,” he continues. “I’ve tried desperately to use that concept in my life and in my career.”

More information about the TJ Martell Foundation and this year's honorees can be found at

See Kenny Rogers' + More Country Stars' Yearbook Pictures

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