Grammy Award winning entertainer Kenny Rogers died March 20 in his Sandy Springs, Georgia home at the age of 81. The cause of death was listed as natural causes.

The self proclaimed Country music singer, had hit songs on the pop music charts, and saw a few of his hit songs turned into made for television films. Rogers broke onto the music scene as a member of the First Edition. He retired from touring in 2017 after 60 years of performing.

Before there was Garth Brooks and Tim McGraw; there was Kenny Rogers who packed arenas with fans.

Along with his three Grammy Awards; Rogers has five Country Music Association Awards, is a CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award winner, has 10 Academy of Country Music Awards, 19 American Music Awards, 11 People’s Choice Awards, and is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. His “Greatest Hits” album has been certified with a Diamond Award for selling at least 10 million copies – 12 million sold in the U.S.; he also has seven albums that were certified multiple platinum.

He was born Kenneth Ray Rogers on August 21, 1938 the fourth of eight children to a shipyard worker father and a hospital worker mother. His interest in music began while he was in his teens when he joined a group called The Scholars. He later joined the jazz group Bobby Doyle Trio as their bass player and then the folk group the Christy Minstrels which later became The First Edition and then Kenny Rogers and the First Edition. Rogers and the Minstrels saw success with the song “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” and with “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town” as a part of the First Edition. Rogers had his first solo hit in 1977 on both the Country and Pop charts with “Lucille”. Rogers was one of the many voices included in the charity hit “We are the World”.

Rogers’ biggest success came with the hit song “The Gambler” which he later parleyed into a made for TV film trilogy. Rogers starred as “The Gambler” Brady Hawkes.

His hit “Coward of the County” was also turned into a film with Rogers playing the role of the preacher.

Outside of music, Rogers had an interest in photography where he published a number of books, was part owner in a riverboat, and owned a chain of restaurants called Kenny Rogers Roasters.

Rogers appeared as an actor in two dozen productions including his role as Brady Hawkes in “The Gambler” films, the preacher and Uncle Matthew in “Coward of the County”, the racing film “Six Pack”, “Wild Horses”, “Rio Diablo”, “Dr. Quinn, Medicone Woman”, “Touched by an Angel”, and “How I Met Your Mother”.

Appearing as himself nearly 250 times, Rogers has appeared on variety shows including “The Muppet Show” and “Hee Haw”, talk shows and late night television talk shows, as host of the television series “Rollin’ on the River”,”American Bandstand”, his own television specials award shows, and documentaries.

He is survived by his fifth wife Wanda; children Justin, Jordan, Chris, Carole, and Kenny Jr; three siblings; nieces and nephews; and grandchildren,

Kenny Rogers discography:
With over 60 years of making music, Rogers recorded dozens of albums including…
“The First Edition ’69”
“Ruby Don’t Take You Love to Town”
“Tell it All Brother”
The Ballad of Calico
“Planet Texas”
“Love Lifted Me”
“Kenny Rogers”
“Daytime Friends”
“The Gambler”
“Love or Something Like It”
“Share Your Love”
Love Will Turn You Around”
“Eyes that See in the Dark”
“We’ve Got Tonight”
“Once Upon a Christmas”
“What About Me?”
“Love is What We Make It”
“The Heart of the Matter”
“They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To”
“Prefer the Moonlight”
“Christmas in America”
“Something Inside So Strong”
“Love is Strange”
“Back Home Again”
“If Only My Heart Had a Voice”
“Country Songs”
“Pieces of Calico Silver”
“The Gift”
“Across My Heart”
“Christmas from the Heart”
“She Rides Wild Horses”
“There You Go Again”
“A&E Live by Request”
“Back to the Well”
“Christmas with Kenny”
“Water & Bridges”
“After Dark”
“The Love of God”
“Christmas Live!”
“Amazing Grace”
“You Can’t Make Old Friends”
“Once Again it’s Christmas”



feature photo credit: By The original uploader was ACT1 at English Wikipedia. – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., CC BY-SA 3.0,