Actor-singer Kenny Rogers, whose legendary musical career spanned jazz, folk, country, and pop has died at 81.
“And somewhere in the darkness The gambler he broke even But in his final words I found an ace that I could keep…”
Kenny Rogers has died, according to his publicist, Keith Hagan. A statement released by Hagan on Friday evening says the country legend “passed away peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family.” Rogers was 81 years old.
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.
Rogers’s cross-genre collaborations resulted in some of this biggest hits — notably “Islands in the Stream,” duet with Dolly Parton written by the Bee Gees, and the Lionel Richie-penned “Lady,” both of which topped the Billboard Hot 100. A David Foster-produced duet with Scottish pop diva Sheena Easton, a cover of Bob Seger’s “We’ve Got Tonight,” went to No. 1 on the country chart and No. 6 on the pop chart. Rogers was also one of the 45 superstars recruited by Richie to perform on the USA for Africa charity single “We Are the World” in 1985.