Kenny Rogers, Country Music Legend, Dies at 81

Singer was known for hits like “The Gambler” and “Islands in the Stream,” his duet with Dolly Parton

Last Updated: March 21, 2020 @ 4:17 AM

Kenny Rogers, the Grammy-winning country music singer behind such hits as “The Gambler” and “Islands in the Stream,” died Friday night. He was 81.

The singer’s death was announced via a statement on his official Twitter account.

“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,” the post read, accompanied by a picture of the Rogers, sporting his signature beard and standing in front of wall adorned with his chart-topping albums.

“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’ career spanned more than six decades, hitting its peak in the ’70s and ’80s. His chart-topping hits included “The Gambler,” “Lady,” “Islands In The Stream” (with longtime collaborator Dolly Parton), “Lucille,” “She Believes In Me” and “Through the Years.” Rogers had 24 No. 1 hits, was a Country Music Hall of Fame member, six-time CMA Awards winner, three-time Grammy Award winner, recipient of the CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, CMT Artist of a Lifetime Award honoree in 2015 and was voted the “Favorite Singer of All Time” in a joint poll by readers of both USA Today and People.

In 2018, Rogers was in the midst of his farewell tour when his remaining dates were canceled due to “health challenges.”

“I didn’t want to take forever to retire,” Rogers said in his own statement at the time. “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.”

See the announcement below:

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