Country music legend Kenny Rogers dead at 81

Country music icon Kenny Rogers has died at the age of 81, according to a statement issued by his family on Saturday morning. 

“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,” the statement read.

Rogers’ successful and diverse music and acting career spanned six decades, and the star only recently retired from touring at the age of 79.

Rogers won three Grammys, five Country Music Association Awards, 10 awards from the Academy of Country Music, and sold tens of millions of records over the course of his career. He was also inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013.

Country star Dolly Parton, one of Rogers’ most frequent tour and duet partners, posted a tribute to her friend on Twitter soon after the announcement.

“I loved Kenny with all my heart. My heart’s broken. A big ol’ chunk of it has gone with him today and I think that I can speak for all his family, his friends and fans, when I say that I will always love him,” Parton said,

“God bless you, Kenny. Fly high, straight into the arms of God. And to the rest of you, keep the faith,” she tearfully concluded.

Due to concerns about the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, a public memorial will not be held at this time. Rogers’ family is instead planning to hold a small private service.

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