Kenny Rogers Dead, Country Music Legend Dies At 81

Singer Kenny Rogers performs onstage during Muhammad Ali's Celebrity Fight Night XX held at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa on April 12, 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona
Michael Buckner / Getty Images

Kenny Rogers, 81, has died of natural causes, according to Variety. The country music legend is survived by his five children as well as by his wife, Wanda.

A representative for the singer released a statement stating that Rogers had “passed away peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family.”

Rogers is remembered for a variety of country hits including “The Gambler,” “Lady,” and “Lucille,” as well as the hit song with Dolly Parton, “Islands in the Stream.” According to Fox News, he had a total of 24 No. 1 hits during his career.

He received the Country Music Association’s Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In addition, he also won three Grammys and six CMA Awards over the span of his career.

Kenny started his music career in the 1950s. In 1961 he joined The New Christy Minstrels, and not only sang in the band but also played double bass and bass guitar. His first major hit, “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In),” was with The First Edition, which also included members of the original band.

When this band broke up in the mid-to-late 1970s, Rogers turned towards a solo career in country music. Along the way, he also collaborated with many other country greats — including Dolly Parton and Sheena Easton. He also had a songwriting partnership with Lionel Richie.

Recently, a documentary featuring Rogers was announced by the A&E Network and is scheduled to air on April 13. According to Variety, it is believed that a lot of the footage used in this documentary will center around “the all-star salute Rogers received in Nashville on Oct. 25, 2017.” As previously reported The Inquisitr, Rogers had planned a farewell tour in 2015. However, by 2017, he canceled existing tour dates under the instruction of medical advice. At the time, he had been suffering from unnamed medical concerns.

Born on August 21, 1938, in Houston, Texas, Kenneth Ray Rogers was one of eight children born to Lucille Lois and Edward Floyd Rogers.

Rogers married five times. His first wife was Janice Gordon Rogers, and together they had one child, daughter Carole. After divorcing in 1960, he then went on to marry Jean Rogers. The musician would marry Margo Anderson in 1964 — divorcing in 1976 — and they had one child, son Kenny Jr. In 1977, he married Marianne Gordon. The two would divorce in 1993, but not before bringing son Christopher. In 1997, Rogers married for the final time when he wed Wanda Miller. The couple had twin sons together, Jordan and Justin.

As a result of the recent coronavirus pandemic, the family is planning a small funeral service. A larger memorial is being planned for the future.