Kenny Rogers dead at 81; Grammy winner was a legend in country and pop music

March 20, 2020

by John Larson

On March 20, 2020, Grammy-winning singer Kenny Rogers died of natural causes at his home in Sandy Springs, Georgia. He was 81. Rogers’ representative Keith Hagan told the Associated Press that Rogers had been under hospice care.

Rogers had a string of hits in the 1970s and 1980s, including “Lady,” “The Gambler,” “Lucille” and “Islands in the Stream,” his duet with Dolly Parton. Although Rogers first became known as a country singer in his solo career, many of his songs crossed over into the pop charts.

Born in Houston onĀ August 21, 1938, Rogers’ first breakthrough in the music business was in the early 1960s, when he joined New Christy Minstrels, a folk group. The band reformed as First Edition and had a big hit with the rock song “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In),” which hit No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. He began his solo career in 1976.

In addition to his music career, Rogers branched out into acting in movies and TV. He was also a co-founder of the restaurant chain Kenny Rogers Roasters. Rogers retired from touring in 2017.

Rogers is survived by his wife, Wanda; his sons Justin, Jordan, Chris and Kenny Jr.; two brothers; a sister; and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, according to Hagan. The family is planning a private service, while a public memorial will take place on a date to be announced.