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.
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. https://t.co/adxAgiMW2s pic.twitter.com/nggWiiotMT
— Kenny Rogers (@_KennyRogers) March 21, 2020
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.”
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