Country music icon Kenny Rogers has died aged 81

He passed away from natural causes, his family confirm

Country music legend Kenny Rogers has died at the age of 81, his family have confirmed.

The singer, most famous for his song ‘The Gambler’ and Dolly Parton collaboration ‘Islands In The Stream’, passed away late last night from natural causes.

“The Rogers family is sad to announce that Kenny Rogers passed away last night at 10:25PM at the age of 81,” the statement began. “Rogers passed away peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family.”

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Rogers had a number of hits across the 1970s and ’80s, including ‘The Gambler’, ‘Lady’, ‘Through The Years’, ‘Lucille’ and more. He’s a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, a three-time Grammy winner, and had 24 number-one songs across his near-60-year career.

“His songs have endeared music lovers and touched the lives of millions around the world,” the statement says, while a tweet from the Country Music Association said Rogers had “forever left a mark on Country Music’s history.”

The statement went on to reveal that Rogers’ family are “planning a small private service” because of coronavirus concerns. A bigger, public ceremony will follow at a later date.

Rogers announced his retirement from music at the end of 2016, heading out on a farewell tour. The tour was then cut short at the start of 2018, with dates cancelled due to Rogers’ ill health.

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“I didn’t want to take forever to retire,” Rogers said at the time. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity to say farewell to fans over the course of the past two years.”

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