Music Icon Kenny Rogers Dies at 81

Kenny Rogers

FILE – In this Oct. 24, 2017 file photo, Kenny Rogers poses with his star on the Music City Walk of Fame in Nashville, Tenn. Actor-singer Kenny Rogers, the smooth, Grammy-winning balladeer who spanned jazz, folk, country and pop with such hits as “Lucille,” “Lady” and “Islands in the Stream” and embraced his persona as “The Gambler” on record and on TV died Friday night, March 20, 2020. He was 81. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

(AP) — Kenny Rogers, the man best known for hits like “The Gambler” has died at the age of 81.

The Texas native died peacefully at his Georgia home Friday night. A family representative says the Houston-born man died from natural causes. Rogers was under hospice care and surrounded by his family.

The singer had several hits during his career with several songs in the pop and country charts since the 1970’s. Besides “The Gambler” he was also known for hits like “Lucille,” “Lady” and “Islands in the Stream” with Dolly Parton. He sold tens of millions of records and was the star of TV movies, making him a superstar in the late ’70s and ’80s. With his silver beard and folksy charm, the Grammy winner excelled as a musical stylist for more than six decades.

He had 24 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. In 2017 Rogers was recognized with a lifetime achivement award from the Texas Medal of the Arts.

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 his life publicly with his friends and fans at a later date.

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