Country music legend Kenny Rogers has died. He was 81. Rogers, who dominated the pop and country charts in the 1970s and 1980s and won three Grammys, passed away “peacefully” from natural causes, reports variety.com.
“Rogers passed away peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family,” a representative for the singer said in a statement.
Due to the global COVID-19 outbreak, the family is planning a small private service with a public memorial planned later.
Back in 2015, Rogers had announced a farewell tour and kept it going through December 2017. In April of 2018, he announced that he is calling off the remaining dates, including a planned appearance at the Stagecoach Festival in California, due to unspecified “health challenges”.
“I didn’t want to take forever to retire,” Rogers had said in a statement he released in 2018, adding: “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.”
After establishing himself commercially via rock- and pop-oriented singles with his group the First Edition, the bearded, prematurely gray Rogers was launched into the top rank of crossover country artists with a string of singles.
His appealing and gritty voice propelled him to become a country icon, from 1977-1987. Two of them, his 1980 reading of Lionel Richie’s “Lady” and his 1983 collaboration with Dolly Parton “Islands in the Stream”. He also worked with a number of other female vocalists, including Dottie West, Sheena Easton, Kim Carnes, and Anne Murray.
Rogers’ signature song “The Gambler” was added to the National Registry in 1978. (IANS)