Iconic, superstar singer crossed genres with his instantly recognizable voice and silver-bearded look.
Kenny Rogers, singer of hit songs such as "The Gambler," "Lady," "Coward of the County," and "Lucille," passed away on March 20 at his home in Sandy Springs, Georgia.
According to representative Keith Hagan, the smokey-voiced crooner had been under hospice care and had died of natural causes.
Rogers had a cross-over career that spanned around 60 years, peaking in popularity during the '70s and '80s thanks to his hit songs and appearances in television shows based on his "Gambler" persona. Rogers, who sold millions of records and won three grammy's for his work, continued to tour and perform for fans until he retired in 2017.
Dolly Parton, who sang with Rogers on the duet "Islands in the Stream," gave him a wonderful tribute in a Twitter video.
"I think that I can speak for his friends and family, and all his fans today when I say that I will always love you," she said.
You never know how much you love somebody until they’re gone. I’ve had so many wonderful years and wonderful times with my friend Kenny, but above all the music and the success I loved him as a wonderful man and a true friend. pic.twitter.com/hIQLIvt8pr— Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) March 21, 2020
Coming from humble beginnings in Houston, Rogers worked his way through the ranks in the music industry in his twenties, dabbling in jazz and eventually landing with the New Christy Minstrels, a folk group. The folk influence can be heard in many of his hits. He started his solo career in the mid-'70s and got his first big hit with the ballad "Lucille," which earned him his first Grammy.
In addition to his Grammys, Rogers was a five-time CMA Award winner, the recipient of the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award, and inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013.
Rogers is survived by his wife, Wanda, and his sons Justin, Jordan, Chris, and Kenny Jr., as well as two brothers, a sister and grandchildren, nieces, and nephews, according to the AP. The family is planning a private service.
What is your favorite Kenny Rogers tune? I know I've been singing "Lucille" and "The Gambler" all morning, enjoying memories of listening to them via record on the Sunday mornings of my childhood. Share your favorite songs or memories of the singer in the comments below.