Singer Kenny Rogers death happened at the age of 81 Friday night. The Vocalist dominated the pop and country charts in the 1970s and 1980s with a string of sleekly tailored hits and won three Grammys.
Actor-singer Kenny Rogers, the smooth, Grammy-winning balladeer who spanned jazz, folk, country and pop with such hits as “Lucille,” “Lady” and “Islands in the Stream” and embraced his persona as “The Gambler” on record and on TV died at home in Sandy Springs, Georgia, at 10:25 p.m. representative Keith Hagan reported.
Singer Kenny Rogers Death occurred when he was under hospice care and passed away from natural causes as was surrounded by his family, Hagan added.
Due to the national COVID-19 emergency, the family is planning a small private service at this time with a public memorial planned for a later date.
Rogers had announced a farewell tour in 2015 and was able to keep it going through December 2017. In April 2018, shortly before he was to spend a few months finishing out the tour after a break, he announced that he was having to call off the remaining dates (including a planned appearance at the Stagecoach Festival in California), due to unspecified “health challenges.”
“I didn’t want to take forever to retire,” Rogers told his April 2018 statement. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity to say farewell to the fans over the course of the past two years on ‘The Gambler’s Last Deal’ tour. I could never properly thank them for the encouragement and support they’ve given me throughout my career and the happiness I’ve experienced as a result of that.”
In all, Rogers had 24 No. 1 hits and was the winner of six CMA Awards and three Grammys, the family’s statement stated. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and in 2013 he received the Country Music Association’s Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award.
Early in his career, Rogers led the band Kenny Rogers and The First Edition, whose hits included the Mel Tillis-written song, “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town.”
Born in Houston, Rogers was raised in public housing along with seven siblings. He had his first gold single at age 20 with a song called “That Crazy Feeling.”
Prior to The First Edition, Rogers sang with the New Christy Minstrels in the 1960s. After The First Edition disbanded in 1974 he launched his enormously successful solo career. His duet hit “Islands in The Stream,” sung with Dolly Parton, grew from a suggestion by Bee Gees star Barry Gibb, who wrote the song, according to The Associated Press.
He notched five more No. 1 solo country singles by the end of the decade. The biggest of these were the Grammy-winning “The Gambler” (also No. 16 pop in 1978) and the backwoods narrative “Coward of the County” (also No. 3 pop in 1979).
They pushed the albums “The Gambler” and “Kenny” to No. 12 and No. 5, respectively, on the pop album charts. Each inspired a popular TV movie; Rogers would portray Brady Hawkes, the protagonist of “The Gambler,” in a series of telepics that ran through 1994.
Until that point, Rogers hadn’t been thrilled with the song. But then Parton joined him in the recording studio. “From the moment she marched into that room, that song never sounded the same,” Rogers said, according to the AP. “It took on a whole new spirit.”
Also, last May, Rogers was admitted to a Georgia hospital for dehydration, amid rumors that his overall health was failing. In 2018, health problems prompted Rogers to call off shows during what was billed as his farewell concert tour.
At the age of 61, Rogers had a brief comeback on the country charts in 2000 with a hit song “Buy Me A Rose,” thanks to his other favorite medium, television.
Producers of the series “Touched By An Angel” wanted him to appear in an episode, and one of his managers suggested the episode be based on his latest single. That cross-promotional event earned him his first No. 1 country song in 13 years.
After Singer Kenny Rogers death, he is survived by his fifth wife, Wanda Miller, whom he wed in 1997, their twin sons Justin and Jordan, and his three children from previous marriages, Carole, Kennedy, and Christopher.
As we mentioned before, Hagan says Rogers’s family is only planning a small private service right now due to coronavirus concerns, but they plan to organize a larger public memorial to celebrate his life and legacy at a later date.