Country singer Kenny Rogers passes away at age 81


Photo courtesy of

Kenny Rogers performing in 2012.

Jessica McDermand, Photographer

Kenny Rogers, age 81, passed away from natural causes in Sandy Springs, Georgia. Rogers is remembered not only by his five children and wife Wanda Miller, but also by all his fans, music and movies. Since Rogers’ passing on March 20, his music has since become more streamed and increasingly popular. Other musicians and old friends of his, such as Dolly Parton, have spoken about his passing and how they will remember him.

“I know that we all know Kenny’s in a better place,” Parton, country musician, said.

The family of Rogers will be holding a small, private service, since the outbreak of COVID-19 has occurred.

Rogers is a well-known name in country music, being that he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013 and has also been awarded multiple times for record-breaking songs. Many people know him just as a country music star, but on top of being a singer-songwriter, he led a full life also as an actor, record producer and entrepreneur.

Rogers was born August 21, 1938 in Houston, Texas. Growing up, his family faced economic hardships as Rogers lived in a house with his mother, father and seven other siblings. Although, that did not keep him from making music. When he was in high school, Rogers was in his first musical group and later on in the 50s, he began making music as a recording artist with Carlton Records. His talent was scouted by the record label and he was eventually signed, after they witnessed Rogers’ ability on a live TV show. In the 60s, Rogers joined another group which soon became known as Kenny Rogers and the First Edition. Many of their songs performed came from different genres of music, which eventually led to the popularity of their group. This band became famous for a few songs and Rogers quickly made a name for himself amongst them.

In the 70s, Rogers became very popular as a solo artist and by the late 70s, he won his first Grammy for the Best Male Country Vocal Performance – a very big honor in the music industry. This award confirmed his future success later on in life, as well as making him a very big name in country music, alongside of other famous artists such as Parton, whom he later became very good friends with. They also worked together on more than one occasion, including holding concerts to perform together and released music as a duet. Even decades later, they still remained very close friends. They were nominated for awards for their duets, like You Can’t Make Old Friends, which was performed in 2014 and was nominated for a Grammy that year.

Although Rogers had a lot of success in the music industry, that was not all. One of Rogers’ songs released in 1978, titled The Gambler, later became a movie which Rogers himself starred in. Eventually, sequels to this movie were also made, which he starred in as well. This movie series overall was well known and remembered, especially when Rogers was asked to appear in a 2015 Geico commercial singing the song, which old fans of Kenny Rogers adored.

Kenny Rogers led a very full life and impacted many people in a lot of different ways. Many fans commented on his Twitter about how he influenced their lives, helped them through tough times and even childhoods. Even celebrities posted in remembrance and in thanks of Rogers, for what he gave them.

“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, on Twitter, said.

Both regular people and celebrities were influenced by Kenny Rogers in one form or another. While his family will remember him bye, so will all his fans and friends he made along the way.