Country music legend Kenny Rogers has passed away, he was 81.
“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.
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The statement continued, “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.”
Throughout his career, Rogers sold more than 100 million records and won three Grammys, 18 American Music Awards, and a spot in the Country Music Hall of Fame. He is known for his many singles and his beloved 1983 duet “Islands in the Stream” with Dolly Parton, and their iconic Christmas album.
After decades in the industry, Rogers announced his retirement in 2015 and at the time said he wanted to spend more time with his wife and their five kids. “I’ve done this long enough. I wrote in my book that sometimes there’s a fine line between being driven and being selfish. And I think I crossed that line when I was younger,” he said. “I really want to be there with my kids and my wife. They’re very important to me and I don’t see enough of them.”
In recent years he had also been open about his failing health including having to cancel the rest of his last tour “The Gambler’s Last Deal” due to doctors’ orders.
In April 2018 his rep released a statement: “Kenny Rogers has been working through a series of health challenges. His doctors fully expect the outcome to be great, but they have advised him to cancel all performances through the end of the year to focus on recuperation.” Then, in May 2019, he was hospitalized for dehydration.
Rogers is survived by his wife, Wanda, and his sons Justin, Jordan, Chris and Kenny Jr., as well as two brothers, a sister and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, his representative said