The Texas-born singer's husky voice carried him as a television and music star across genres. His country music career spanned six decades and was celebrated worldwide.
Rogers was one of country music's biggest names, especially in the 1980s with hits such as "We Got Tonight," "You Decorated My Life," "She Believes In Me," "Lucille Lady," "The Gambler."
He was also famous for his hit duet with good friend Dolly Parton, "Islands in the Stream."
Fans on Twitter paid their respects to the three-time Grammy awardee. Rogers won his Grammys for songs The Gambler in 1979 and Make No Mistake and She's Mine in 1987.
He held six Country Music Association (CMA) awards.
Kenny Rogers funeral
The singer died of natural causes at his home in Georgia, according to his family.
A spokesperson for Rogers' family released a statement to declare his death to the public. "The Rogers family is sad to announce that Kenny Rogers passed away last night at 10:25 pm at the age of 81."
However, the novel coronavirus pandemic as with people across the globe's normal lives right now is casting a shadow on the singer's funeral services.
According to his family's official statement, a private memorial service has been planned but a public celebration of Rogers' life will take place at a later date out of concern over the coronavirus pandemic.
More about the music legend
Born as one of eight children in Houston, Rogers began his recording career in the 1950s then found commercial success in 1976 with his song "Lucille."
He retired from touring in 2017 at age 79, said the Associated Press.
Rogers had a knack for picking songs that could pull in the listener. He felt "great songs put you in a spot, put you in a place - on a warm summer's evening, on a train bound for nowhere."
His first gold single at age 20 was a song called "That Crazy Feeling" under the brand name Kenneth Rogers.
He then played as standup bass player in a jazz group, the Bobby Doyle Trio.
Dolly Parton posted an emotional tribute, reassuring people that Rogers will go to bat for us with God.
Rogers experienced serious health issues back then, such as in 2018, the remaining dates of his "Gambler's Last Deal" farewell tour was canceled due to unspecified "health challenges." The said farewell tour started in 2015 and went on until December 2017.
"I didn't want to take forever to retire," he said in a statement in April 2018. "I've thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity to say farewell to the fans over the course of the past two years on 'The Gambler's Last Deal' tour. I could never properly thank them for the encouragement and support they've given me throughout my career and the happiness I've experienced as a result of that."
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