“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,” the singer’s family said in a statement released on his social media.
“The family is planning a small private service at this time out of concern for the national COVID-19 emergency. They look forward to celebrating Kenny’s life publicly with his friends and fans at a later date,” the statement said.
Married five times, Rogers is survived by his last wife Wanda and five children.
The three-time Grammy winner was inducted into Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013.
He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Country Music Association the same year.
Born and raised in Houston, he was the fourth of eight children in a poor family. He took to the guitar as an adolescent, and would sometimes perform with another aspiring local musician and future star, Mickey Gilley, reports Variety.
After beginning his career in the 1950s with a jazz group, Rogers went solo in the 1970s and released his break-through single “Lucille” in 1977.
Rogers was best known for songs like “The Gambler” and his 1983 duet with Dolly Parton “Islands in the Stream.”
He embarked on a world farewell tour in 2016 but in April 2018 he canceled the last few shows citing “a series of health challenges.”
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK