Kenny Rogers Dies: Country Music Icon Was 81

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Country music star Kenny Rogers died Friday night in Sandy Springs, GA. He was 81. According to a statement posted by his family on Twitter, the singer, songwriter, actor and producer passed away at 10:25PM “peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family.”

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Rogers family is planning to have a small private service with a public memorial at a later date.

Rogers, the crooner with a husky voice known for such hits as his signature tune “The Gambler” (you can watch it below); “Lady”; “Islands in the Stream,” a duet with longtime friend and frequent collaborator Dolly Parton; and “Lucille”, sold millions of records and won three Grammys during his decades-long, Country Music Hall of Fame career.

Early in his career, Rogers sang for the First Edition, which had top 10 hits with “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town” and “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In).” The latter found a new generation of fans 30 years later when the Coen brothers used it for the dream sequence in The Big Lebowski.

As an actor, he starred in the 1982 movie Six Pack and a number of popular TV movies such as The Gambler franchise, built around his Gambler persona, Christmas in America, and Coward of the County — all based on hit songs of his. He also served as host and narrator for the A&E historical series The Real West.

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