It’s a sad day for country music lovers.
The legendary artist Kenny Rogers passed away on Friday evening at home while surrounded by his family. He was 81-years-old.
On Saturday morning, his family shared a statement to inform fans of his passing:
“The Rogers family is sad to announce that Kenny Rogers passed away last night at 10:25PM at the age of 81. Rogers passed away peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family.
In a career that spanned more than six decades, Kenny Rogers left an indelible mark on the history of American music. His songs have endeared music lovers and touched the lives of millions around the world. Chart-topping hits like “The Gambler,” “Lady,” “Islands In The Stream,” “Lucille,” “She Believes In Me,” and “Through the Years” are just a handful of Kenny Rogers’ songs that have inspired generations of artists and fans alike. Rogers, with twenty-four number-one hits, was a Country Music Hall of Fame member, six-time CMA Awards winner, three-time GRAMMY® Award winner, recipient of the CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, CMT Artist of a Lifetime Award honoree in 2015 and has been voted the “Favorite Singer of All Time” in a joint poll by readers of both USA Today and People.
The family is planning a small private service at this time out of concern for the national COVID-19 emergency. They look forward to celebrating Kenny’s life publicly with his friends and fans at a later date.”
And the country music community is clearly in mourning of the legend. Dolly Parton, his longtime friend and collaborator, shared an emotional video in his honor:
You never know how much you love somebody until they’re gone. I’ve had so many wonderful years and wonderful times with my friend Kenny, but above all the music and the success I loved him as a wonderful man and a true friend. pic.twitter.com/hIQLIvt8pr
— Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) March 21, 2020
Along with an old image of Kenny, Jason Aldean penned a thoughtful note to Instagram:
“I woke up this morning to the news that Kenny Rogers passed away. The first concert I ever attended was his back in the early 80’s and it forever changed my life. I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to him a few times over the years and I am so grateful to have spent a few moments with him. He was an icon that helped bring in a whole new audience to country music and he forever changed the game for all of us. He will always be missed and remembered….. R.I.P. Gambler”
Blake Shelton also shared a message on Twitter in honor of Mr. Rogers:
I can’t express on twitter the impact Kenny Rogers the artist and the man had on me. He was always very kind and fun to be around. Rest In Peace Gambler…
— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) March 21, 2020
Billy Ray Cyrus also expressed his condolences on IG, and wrote a message (below) along with a pic of himself, Kenny, Dolly, and Miley Cyrus:
“No one bridged the gap between country and pop more often and better than Kenny Rogers. He will be missed, but his music and diverse style of story telling will live on forever.”
We’re sending our love to Kenny’s family and friends during this difficult time.
[Image via WENN.]