Kenny Rogers, three-time Grammy winner and the man who gave us such country classics as Lady, The Gambler, Coward of the County, Luville, Islands in the stream (with Dolly Parton) and many more died yesterday aged 81.
A statement from his family announced that “The Rogers family is sad to announce that Kenny Rogers passed away last night at 10:25 pm 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 view of the Coronavirus pandemic, the family has announced that there will be a small and private farewell service.
CNN reports that he had 24 number-one hits and throughout his career, more than 50 million albums sold in the US alone.
Not only was he a six-time Country Music Awards winner, he was also a three-time Grammy Award winner.
“Country Music has lost the great Kenny Rogers, who has forever left a mark on Country Music’s history,” the Country Music Association said in a statement. “His family and friends are in our thoughts during this difficult time.”
Some of his hits included “Lady,” “Lucille,” “We’ve Got Tonight,” “Islands In The Stream,” and “Through the Years.”
His 1978 song “The Gambler” inspired multiple TV movies, with Rogers as the main character.
In 1985, he participated in the original recording of “We Are the World” along with more than three dozen artists. A year later, according to his website, he co-chaired “Hands Across America,” a campaign which sought to raise awareness about the homeless and hungry in the US.
In 2015, Rogers announced his retirement.
“I’ve been so lucky to have enjoyed such a long career and to have such amazing support from my fans and all who have helped me along the way, but there comes a time when I need to focus on spending time with my family,” he had said, according to his official website.
“My life is about my wife and my 11-year-old twin boys right now. There are a lot of things I want to do together with them to create some special memories. I don’t have a bucket list of my own … I have a bucket list of things I want to do with them.”
According to the statement posted by his publicist, Rogers’ family is planning a small, private service out of concern for the coronavirus pandemic, “but look forward to celebrating the life of Kenny Rogers publicly with his friends and fans at a later date.”