Country music legend Kenny Rogers is no more

LOS ANGELES: Country music legend Kenny Rogers, whose career spanned six decades and helped bring the genre into the mainstream, has died at the age of 81, his family announced.
With hits like The Gambler, Lucille and the duet Islands in the Stream with Dolly Parton, the three-time Grammy winner left an indelible mark on American music.
“Rogers passed away peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family,” the family said in a statement late on Friday.
The family said they were planning a small private service “out of concern for the national COVID-19 emergency.”
Tributes poured in from across the world of showbiz.
“You never know how much you love somebody until they’re gone,” Parton said.
“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.”
Country star Blake Shelton said: “I can’t express on Twitter the impact Kenny Rogers the artist and the man had on me. He was always very kind and funny to be around. Rest In Peace Gambler.”
Rogers, who sold tens of millions of records worldwide, had 20 albums go platinum, according to his website.
“I’ve never considered myself a great singer, but I do have a certain way as a storyteller,” he told the Irish Examiner in 2013.
“I’ve been very lucky in finding many great songs that have had a staying power, and have lingered longer in the heart.”
Released in 1978, his album The Gambler was a huge international hit, going multi-platinum. The title track became his signature song.
“I do two kinds of songs,” he told NPR in 2015.
“There’s story songs that have social significance, or they’re ballads that say what every man would like to say and every woman would like to hear.”
One of those emotional ballads was Lady, written by Lionel Richie and released in 1980.
It was an instant crossover hit.
In 1985, he sang a solo on We Are The World, the Grammy-winning star-studded charity single to raise money to help alleviate famine in Africa.
Rogers starred in a series of made-for-television movies based on The Gambler through the 1980s and 1990s, but he liked to joke that he wasn’t much of a gambler himself.
“I learned a long time ago,
I can’t win enough money to excite me, but I can lose enough to
depress me,” he told NPR. “So I don’t gamble.” — AFP