American Country music legend, songwriter, actor, record producer, and entrepreneur Kenny Rogers has died. He was 81.
His family confirmed his death through a tweet, saying that Rogers “passed away peacefully at home from natural causes”.
“The Rogers family is sad to announce that Kenny Rogers passed away last night at 10:25pm, at the age of 81. Rogers passed away peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family.
“In a career that spanned more than six decades, Kenny Rogers left an indelible mark on the history of American music. His songs have endeared music lovers and touched the lives of millions around the world,” said the family.
The family is planning a small private service at this time out of concern for the national Covid-19 emergency. They look forward to celebrating Kenny’s life publicly with his friends and fans at a later date.
Rogers was born on August 21, 1938, in Houston, Texas, United States.
In the late 1950s, he started his recording career with jazz-singer Bobby Doyle, and joined the folk ensemble the New Christy Minstrels in 1961, playing double bass and bass guitar as well as singing.
In 1967, he and several other members left to found the group the First Edition, with whom he scored his first major hit, Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In), a psychedelic rock song, which peaked at number five on the Billboard charts.
The band broke up in 1975–1976, and Kenny Rogers embarked on a long and successful solo career, which included several successful collaborations, including duets with singers Dolly Parton and Sheena Easton, and a songwriting partnership with Lionel Richie.
His signature song is 1978’s The Gambler, a cross-over hit that won him a Grammy award in 1980 and was selected in 2018 for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress.
On September 25, 2015, Rogers announced on NBC’s Today Show that he was retiring from show business after a final tour to spend more time with his wife and twin sons.
Rogers was well-known for hit songs such as The Gambler, Lady, Islands in the Stream, Lucille, She Believes in Me, and Through the Years.