Kenny Rogers has died. He was 81.
The country music icon and actor passed away of natural causes on Friday night (March 20), according to a statement provided by his family on social media. At the time of his death, the husky-voiced singer and prolific musician was in the comfort of his Sandy Springs, Georgia home, and surrounded by those closest to him.
“The Rogers family is sad to announce that Kenny Rogers passed away last night at 10:25 p.m. at the age of 81,” a representative said in a statement early Saturday (March 21), on the legendary country singer’s Facebook page. “Rogers passed away peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family.”
A decorated artist, Rogers has won a total of six CMA Awards and three Grammys throughout his 60-year career. In 2013, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Country Music Association that same year.
Rogers is the voice behind such genre-bending hits as “The Gambler,” “Lady,” “Islands in the Stream,” and “Lucille,” among others. A multi-talented star, his career moved beyond the stage to the small screen as he starred in popular TV movies based on “The Gambler” and other songs. Rogers also ventured into other endeavors throughout his career, becoming a co-founder of the restaurant chain Kenny Rogers Roasters as well as the author behind book releases, including his autobiography, “Making It With Music.”
Born in Houston, Texas, on Aug. 21, 1938, Rogers was brought up in public housing with seven siblings. But, he didn’t let his poverty-stricken upbringing get in the way of his passion. He began his music career early on, landing a minor solo hit in 1957 with “That Crazy Feeling” before joining a jazz group called the Bobby Doyle Three. In the 1960s, Rogers fronted the band The First Edition, who scored a pop hit with the psychedelic song, “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In.” After leaving the First Edition in the mid-70s, Rogers launched his solo career, which brought him several years of success as both a country and crossover artist.
Rogers retired from touring in December 2017 following a farewell tour and all-star tribute concert in Nashville. He leaves behind his wife, Wanda Miller, their identical twin sons, and his three additional kids.
In light of the coronavirus outbreak, the Rogers family has decided to honor late singer with a small private service. A public memorial to celebrate his life will be held at a later date.
Our hearts and prayers go out the Rogers’ family at this time.