Country music legend, Kenny Rogers dies at 81



Country music legend, Kenny Rogers has died at the age of 81.

The Grammy award-winning star, whose career spanned six decades, had a series of hits, including Coward of the County and The Gambler.

He “passed away peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family”, his representative said in a statement.

The Houston-born singer, who was known for his trademark husky voice and silver beard, sold tens of millions of records and broke through into the world of pop.

He also gained popularity as an actor, starring in TV movies based on The Gambler and other songs, becoming a superstar in the 1970s and 80s.

Although his highest charting hits had started fading by the 1990s, Rogers still remained a popular live entertainer with regular touring.

He had announced a farewell tour in 2015 but had continued performing until 2017.

Rogers often worked with female duet partners, and achieved more remarkable success with his pairing with Dolly Parton, whom he toured the world with.

They had their last performance together at his all-star retirement concert, held in Nashville in 2017.

In addition to his music, Rogers was a prolific photographer and also a successful businessman, owning a chain of restaurants called Kenny Rogers Roasters.

In 2000, he had a brief comeback on the charts, with his hit Buy Me A Rose, which earned him his first No 1 country song in 13 years.

Tributes are now pouring in for the late legend while the family plans a private service “out of concern for the national COVID-19 emergency”.

A public memorial will be held for him at a later date.

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