Although his influence has been across different genres of music, he was proud to be known as a country singer.
Three times Grammy Award winner and one of the most cherished country music singers of the 80s, Kenny Rogers breathed his last at 10:25 pm on Friday, March 20, 2020, reports Fox News.
He was at his home, surrounded by his family during his final hours and died peacefully of natural causes, the statement released by his family mentioned.
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. https://t.co/adxAgiMW2s pic.twitter.com/nggWiiotMT— Kenny Rogers (@_KennyRogers) March 21, 2020
Known for hits such as The Gambler, Lady, Islands in the Stream, and Lucille, Rogers was loved by fans across the globe. The iconic artist was a six-time CMA Awards winner and had 24 No.1 hits, according to Fox News. The late singer had his first gold single when he was only 20. He went on to join a jazz group in the 70s and explored jazz for a while before he ventured into folk music. The breakthrough happened when he decided to go solo and perform as an independent artist.
In 1977, he released Lucille, which was the first to top the pop charts, earning the singer his first Grammy.
Later in 1978, Rogers composed an iconic track that went on to become a part of his identity, The Gambler written by Don Schlitz. Combined with phenomenal hits like Lady, written by Lionel Richie; You Decorated My Life; Every Time Two Fools Collide, his fame rose rather quickly in the eighties. After a whirlwind career that lasted 60 years, Rogers retired in 2017.
Although he has left his mark on many genres of music, he always preferred to be known as a country singer.
“You either do what everyone else is doing and you do it better, or you do what no one else is doing and you don’t invite comparison,” Rogers told The Associated Press in 2015. “And I chose that way because I could never be better than Johnny Cash or Willie or Waylon at what they did. So I found something that I could do that didn’t invite comparison to them. And I think people thought it was my desire to change country music. But that was never my issue,” TIME quotes him.
“Kenny was one of those artists who transcended beyond one format and geographic borders,” says Sarah Trahern, chief executive officer of the Country Music Association. “He was a global superstar who helped introduce country music to audiences all around the world.”
Indeed! And that's why his fans are heartbroken to know that their favorite singer is no more. But a legend like Rogers never dies, as his spirit continues to live through his music.
Life passes far too quickly. R.I.P. Kenny Rogers. pic.twitter.com/fQT2TufXFS— TV and Film Stars (@TVandFilmStars) March 21, 2020
This was the wedding song my husband and I danced too, 35 years ago💕😢 He has died too young, his music will last forever🤟— Sandy Arris (@SandyArris) March 21, 2020
Islands in the Stream, We are the World 😪😪 Kenny is among the last of a great generation.— Ward (@revnation2020) March 21, 2020
The music icon 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.
Lastly, the statement released by his family states that they will have a private funeral owing to the COVID-19 outbreak. But they will publicly "celebrate Kenny's life at a later date."
We pray for Rogers' soul and send our heartfelt condolences to his family!