Kenny Rogers, the country music legend died on Friday. He was 81.

March 21, 2020 - 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.

In a career that spanned more than six decades, Kenny Rogers left an indelible mark on the history of American music. His songs have endeared music lovers and touched the lives of millions around the world. Chart-topping hits like "The Gambler," "Lady," "Islands In The Stream," "Lucille," "She Believes In Me," and "Through the Years" are just a handful of Kenny Rogers' songs that have inspired generations of artists and fans alike. Rogers, with twenty-four number-one hits, was a Country Music Hall of Fame member, six-time CMA Awards winner, three-time GRAMMY® Award winner, recipient of the CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, CMT Artist of a Lifetime Award honoree in 2015 and has been voted the "Favorite Singer of All Time" in a joint poll by readers of both USA Today and People.

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.

Rogers didn't write most of his hits and often said he didn't consider himself much of a songwriter.

"I've always felt great songs put you in a spot, put you in a place — on a warm summer's evening, on a train bound for nowhere," he said. "You know where you are, and from there the rest of the song plays out."

"The Gambler" would become a worldwide hit in 1978 and turn into Rogers' calling card. He always joked, however, that he wasn't much of a gambler himself.

"I learned a long time ago, I can't win enough money to excite me, but I can lose enough to depress me," he said told in 2015. "So I don't gamble. But you're right, it's been a career-identifying song."

Rogers was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, in 2013, but he always spanned genres. His career really started with jazz, playing upright bass with a trio in Houston, the city where he grew up in public housing and became the first in his family to graduate from high school. After a stint playing bass with the The New Christy Minstrels, he went on to co-found The First Edition.

Rogers would quickly become a solo artist, but he was always known for his collaborations — especially duets with Dolly Parton.

The story goes that Rogers was in his studio in Los Angeles for days trying to perfect the song "Islands in the Stream" by the Bee Gees. Someone suggested, "This needs Dolly Parton," and she happened to be in town. They both recalled it being a magical studio moment. "Islands" became a No.-1 hit in 1983.

After that first chance encounter, Rogers and Parton performed together for decades. They were often accused of carrying on a love affair, but both said it was just a special bond. In 2017, Dan Rather asked Parton to explain.

"I love him to death," she told Rather. "He's like a brother to me, or like a twin soul. We just know each other. We can see each other across the room and know what each other is thinking about, whatever else is going on in the room."

Their musical chemistry was so central to both of their careers that Don Schlitz, who wrote "The Gambler," penned a song, "You Can't Make Old Friends," based on their three-decade relationship.

The song will now be a poignant tribute. But Parton once told Rogers she would never be able to sing at his funeral.

Rogers' family plans a private service "out of concern for the national COVID-19 emergency," the statement posted early Saturday read. The family plans to hold a public memorial at a later date.

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