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Kenny Rogers Tops Billboard Country Albums Chart for 1st Time in 3 Decades

The legendary singer died March 20 at age 81

Kenny Rogers shot to the top of Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart in the days following the legendary singer’s death, putting him in the No. 1 slot for the first time since 1986.

The Grammy-winning country music singer behind such hits as “The Gambler” and “Islands in the Stream,” died March 20 at the age of  81 of natural causes, according to a statement made by his family on Twitter.

In the week since his death, fellow country music stars like Dolly Parton and Blake Shelton paid tribute to the beloved icon — and fans put his 2018 greatest hits album “The Best of Kenny Rogers: Through the Years” at the top of the chart with the equivalent of 32,000 album units earned in the U.S. over the week ending on March 26, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

Rogers’ last time topping the charts was with his album “The Heart of the Matter,” which spent six weeks between the charts dated Dec. 28, 1985, and Feb. 1, 1986, according to Billboard.

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.”