Country legend Kenny Rogers has died of natural causes, aged 81

21 March 2020, 09:09 | Updated: 23 March 2020, 10:35

Kenny Rogers died aged 81
Kenny Rogers died aged 81. Picture: PA

By Rory O'Connor

American country music star Kenny Rogers has died aged 81.

A family representative announced that Kenny “passed away peacefully at home from natural causes”.

The statement read: "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."

Read more: The Story of... 'Islands in the Stream' by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers

The statement continued: "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.

Read more: 8 fascinating facts about Kenny Rogers

"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 'Favourite Singer of All Time' in a joint poll by readers of both USA Today and People.

Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton had a successful hit together, 'Islands in the Stream'
Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton had a successful hit together, 'Islands in the Stream'. Picture: PA

"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."

Read more: The 7 best Kenny Rogers songs ever

In 2007, Kenny unexpectedly found himself back in the limelight in the UK when 'The Gambler' became the unofficial World Cup anthem of England's Rugby Team.

The song became so popular that during his 2013 Glastonbury Festival legends slot, Kenny played it twice.

Kenny was married five times and had five children.