Kris Kristofferson, a truly legendary singer-songwriter as well as actor, has officially retired. The news announced on January 27, 2021, was revealed in a press release from Morris Higham Management (MHM), which will represent Kristofferson’s estate.
Among his many career highlights are his composition, “Me and Bobby McGee,” a #1 hit for Janis Joplin in 1971; his musical collaboration with Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Waylon Jennings as part of the Highwaymen; and his acting roles in such films as 1976’s A Star is Born and 1973’s Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid.
The announcement noted in its second paragraph, “In the wake of his father’s retirement in 2020, Kristofferson’s son John steps in to oversee all of the family’s businesses. John and his father’s longtime public relations rep will coordinate future endeavors with MHM, spearhead special projects, and will continue to manage the Kristofferson indie record label KK Records.
“Kristofferson is the artist that every artist strives to be,” said MHM President Clint Higham. “He is an artist’s artist. If Mount Rushmore had a place for songwriters, Kris would be on it.”
John Kristofferson added, “We have many exciting projects in the works and I look forward to getting them out.”
Kristoffer Kristofferson was born in the border town of Brownsville, Tex., on June 22, 1936. Among his many unique accomplishments, Kristofferson was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, a college football player, a bartender, a Golden Gloves boxer, a forest fighter, and an Army Ranger who flew helicopters.
Kristofferson achieved remarkable success as a country songwriter at the start of the 1970s. His songs “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” and “For the Good Times,” were all chart-topping hits. By 1987, it was estimated that more than 450 artists had recorded Kristofferson’s compositions.
The three-time Grammy winner has recorded 30 albums, including three as part of the Highwaymen. It’s estimated that Kristofferson has acted in more than 70 films. In 1977 he won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in A Star Is Born, opposite Barbra Streisand.
Kristofferson is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, winner of the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and was honored with the American Veteran’s Association’s “Veteran of the Year Award” in 2002. In 2009, BMI lauded Kristofferson with the Icon Award. In 2014, he was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the PEN Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence Award.
He asserted that poet William Blake was correct in asserting that anyone divinely ordered for spiritual communion but buries his talent will be pursued by sorrow and desperation through life and by shame and confusion for eternity.
“(Blake) is telling you that you’ll be miserable if you don’t do what you’re supposed to do,” Kristofferson said in the Ken Burns’ documentary Country Music.
Kristofferson will celebrate his 85th birthday on June 22, 2021 with several special projects.