FAMOUS Crossover country superstar Kenny Rogers died at the weekend. He was 81. A statement by his publicist, Keith Hagan said the country legend “passed away peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family.”
Winnerzblog reported, During his six-decade, genre-hopping career, Rogers released 65 albums and sold more than 165 million records, making him one of the most successful recording artists of all time. A massive crossover star, he not only scored 24 No. 1 hits on the Billboard country chart, but more than 120 hits across various genre charts including his 1978 signature story song “The Gambler,” which inspired five television movies and was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress. A Country Music Hall of Fame inductee in 2013, Rogers also won three Grammy Awards, 13 American Music Awards, six Country Music Association Awards, the CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award, and the CMT Artist of a Lifetime Award.
According to our source, Rogers was born fourth of eight children on Aug. 21, 1938 in Houston, Texas, and he actually launched his music career as a doo-wop artist in 1957 with the minor hit “The Crazy Feeling,” before joining jazz group the Bobby Doyle Three in 1958. Taking yet more eclectic career turns, he then played in folk outfit the New Christy Minstrels in 1961, before founding the First Edition in 1967 and scoring a surprising No. 5 hit with that band’s psych-rock classic “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In).” After the First Edition, whose sound had become increasingly countrified over the years, disbanded in the mid-’70s, Rogers continued in that country direction, releasing his moderately successful first solo album, Love Lifted Me, in 1976.
Winnerzblog reports, In 1977, he broke through with his first major solo hit, “Lucille,” but it was his sixth studio LP the following year, The Gambler, that finally made him a bona fide superstar. That album went quintuple-platinum on the strength of the ballad “She Believes in Me,” which established his smooth countrypolitan sound, and its title track. Another one of his classic story songs, “Coward of the County,” went to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spawned another TV movie starring the affable, raspy Rogers. A feature film starring the singer, Six Pack, followed in 1982.
He did duets with many other musicians such as Dolly Parton. In 2015 he announced his retirement and embarked on a farewell tour called “The Gambler’s Last Deal.”
He is survived by his fifth wife, Wanda Miller, whom he wed in 1997, their twin sons Justin and Jordan, and his three children from previous marriages, Carole, Kennedy, and Christopher. Hagan says Rogers’s family is only planning a small private service right now due to coronavirus concerns, but they plan to organize a larger public memorial to celebrate his life and legacy at a later date.