Entertainment

Country Music Legend, Kenny Rogers Dies at 81

Kenny Rogers, the country musician behind such hits as “The Gambler” and “Lady” over a six-decade career, has died at the age of 81, his family announced early Saturday.

“Rogers passed away peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family,” according to a statement from his management firm, SKH Music.

His family plans a small private service due to the coronavirus outbreak, the statement said.

Rogers is well-known for hits like “The Gambler,” “Lady,” “Islands in the Stream,” “Lucille,” “She Believes In Me” and “Through the Years.”

The three-time Grammy winner and county music icon Dolly Parton were frequent collaborators and paired to make some of country music’s most enduring duets, including “Islands in the Stream,” “Love is Strange,” “Real Love,” and “You Can’t Make Old Friends.”

Image: DOLLY PARTON duets with Kenny Rogers in July 1989
Dolly Parton duets with Kenny Rogers in July 1989.Alamy Stock Photo

Rogers announced in 2015 that after spending more than 50 years in the business, he planned to retire and told NBC’s “Today” then that he was saying goodbye.

“I’ve done this long enough,” the Texas native said, adding that he wanted to spend more time with his children.

Rogers had 24 number-one hits over his career and is a six-time County Music Association winner. He had Grammy awards and was nominated 19 times.

The entertainer was inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013, the same year he was awarded the County Music Association’s Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award.

After the group broke up, Rogers started his solo career and found a big hit with the sad country ballad “Lucille,” in 1977.
He found more success with “Love Or Something Like It,” “Sweet Music Man,” “The Gambler” and “Every Time Two Fools Collide,” as well as hits including “We’ve Got Tonight.” He recorded “Lady,” which was written by Lionel Richie, which saw success across different genres.
He moved beyond music to become the star of TV movies based on “The Gambler” and other songs, making him a superstar in the ’70s and ’80s. Despite his crossover success, he always preferred to be thought of as a country singer, The Associated Press reported.
Courtesy: NBC News

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