Country music singer Kenny Rogers dies at 81

Longtime country music star Kenny Rogers died Friday night, according to a statement posted by his family. He was 81.

Known for such hits as “The Gambler,” “Lady,” “Islands in the Stream,” and “Lucille,” Rogers died peacefully at home in Sandy Springs, Ga., of natural causes at 10:25 p.m., the statement said.

In all, Rogers had 24 No. 1 hits and was the winner of six CMA Awards and three Grammys, the family’s statement said.

Born in Houston, Texas, Rogers was raised in public housing along with seven siblings. He had his first gold single at age 20 with a song called “That Crazy Feeling” under the name Kenneth Rogers.

He then joined a jazz group, the Bobby Doyle Trio, as a standup bass player. His breakthrough came in 1966, when he was asked to join a folk group called the New Christy Minstrels. —Fox News

Dolly Parton honored her “singing partner” with a video tribute on Twitter.

“I know that we all know that Kenny is in a better place than we are today and I’m pretty sure that he’s going to be talking to God sometime today… and he’s going to be asking him to spread some light on a bunch of this darkness,” Parton said in her video. “I loved Kenny with all my heart. My heart’s broken. A big ol’ chunk of it has gone with him today.”

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