World acclaimed country music star Kenny Rogers died Friday night, according to a statement posted by his family.
The 81 year old Rogers died peacefully of natural causes at 10:25 pm surrounded by family, the statement said.
He was known for such hits as ‘The Gambler,’ ‘Lady’ and ‘Lucille’ just to mention a few.
Early in his career, Rogers led the band Kenny Rogers and The First Edition, whose hits included the Mel Tillis-written song, ‘Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town.’
The three time Grammy award winner was also an author whose latest books, a memoir, ‘Luck or Something Like It’ and a novel ‘What Are The Chances’ were published in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
Rogers was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013 and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Country Music Association the same year.
Rogers had announced a farewell tour in 2015 and was able to keep it going through December 2017. In April 2018, he announced that he was having to call off the remaining dates (including a planned appearance at the Stagecoach Festival in California), due to unspecified “health challenges.”
According to a report by Variety, due to the national COVID-19 emergency, the family is planning a small private service at this time with a public memorial planned for a later date.
Rogers had gotten married five times in his lifetime. He is now survived by his last wife Wanda and five children.