Skip to Content

The Tragic Loss of Country Icon, Kenny Rogers: Remembering a Legend

The country music industry lost a real beauty when the celebrity Kenny Rogers who is a legendary country artist, actor, and businessman passed away on March 20th, 2020 at the age of 81.

Having worked in country music for approximately 6 decades, Rogers’ impact on the genre was huge, and his memories are still cherished by young people who are new to the profession and the fans of this genre.

This article is going to focus on Rogers’ life, achievements, and contributions to the music industry.

So, let’s get started.

Kenny Rogers Legendary Career Cut Short

Kenny Roger, like the other famous country music crooner and creator of classical country music, died in the year 2020 on March 20 for he was 81 at the time of his death.

His death was a natural outcome and, with the loved ones in his immediate vicinity, he freed himself from the grip of this world.

According to medical reports, he was battling health issues, one after another than the last one.

Similarly, existing malignancies like bladder cancer, hepatitis C, liver damage spinal cord problems, and skin cancer were also diagnosed at the same time.

While in his poor health condition, Rogers still decided to do his concert and recording of music later. But, when a sharp decline in health happened it was evident it ended all.

His demise was managed by Hospice care where he was accommodated and spent his last days surrounded by close people who were by his side.

Kenny Rogers death
Source: Nbc News

Kenny Rogers has 7 siblings and a wife by the name of Wanda who has been married to him for more than thirty years.

Covid-19 prevented family members from attending a big funeral ceremony so a private ceremony took the place of the big funeral.

Though plans were put in advance for this event, which was a private event commemorating his life.

The rest of the audience and colleagues of remembrance was organized to perform and celebrate Roger’s legacy at a later date.

Early Life and Career

Humble Beginnings

Kenny Rogers started his world on the 21st of August, 1938 in Houston, Texas, and his parent was Lucille and Al Rogers.

He was born into a family that didn’t have much and was the eldest of seven children. They all sang together from a young age, so he developed his musical skills early.

Although Kenny’s father, a carpenter who encouraged his children to pursue their dreams, devoted his spare time to making music himself by playing the guitar and singing in church choirs.

The First Edition

Kenny Rogers‘ music saga took off in the 60s when he co-founded and later led First Edition, a rock and roll band that later transformed into a country music group.

In early 1967, group of Rogers, Tim Gunning, Mike Settle, and Terry Williams All treleased their first single initially in 1968 called “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” which had a moderate success with it.

Kenny Rogers hit
Source: Biography

First Edition, the band, continued to release new albums and singles, such as “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town” and “Reuben James,” during the 1960s and 1970s.

Their style further matured throughout this period integrating folk, country, and psychedelic elements.

Chiefly, the original voice of the musician and his songwriting performances became an attribute of the group.

Solo Career

In 1976, Kenny Rogers issued his first solo album titled ‘Kenny Rogers.’

This album was a huge success, for several reasons that made it possible which have ‘Lucille’ as a hit single which peaked at number one on the country charts.

Kenny Rogers Song ‘Lucille’.

Having already begun to shape his style, he quickly soared in the 80s with the release of hit albums like “The Gambler” and “Kenny Rogers’s Greatest Hits“.

He became famous for his narrative skills and cross-genre mixing, a gumbo-like blend of country, rock, and pop.

Among those could be counted “The Gambler,” “Lady,” and “Islands in the Stream.'” (a hit featuring him singing a duet with Dolly Parton).

Impact and Legacy of Kenny Rogers

Impact on Country Music

Kenny Rogers’ influence on country music was surprisingly an incredibly big one because he had figured out a way of taking the genre to a much wider audience than was the case in the 70s and 80s.

His easygoing voice, narration exaltation, and the advent of style in the music had influenced the road to eradicating borders between the classical genre and country music.

Rogers’ influence can be heard in many country artists who followed in his footsteps, including Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, and Tim McGraw.

His music also has influenced many artists like Dolly Parton as she has taken a line from the same music but with her style and also Lionel Richie has done similar work.

Philanthropy and Humanitarian Work

Humanity and Charity were the life mottos of Kenny Rogers, and he generously demonstrated his love for these values by supporting numerous charity organizations.

He was charitable with Humanity Red Cross as well as many of the singers’ concerts which had fund raises including the 1985 “We Are the World”.

Rogers also founded the Kenny Rogers Children’s Center in 1974, which nurtured children with disabilities and their families by being available with the necessary resources.

Later Life and Career

Under the stewardship of the late ’60s, Kenny Rogers started iconic music as a vocalist with the First Edition Band, which propelled him to success as a solo artist.

In his later years, he became a frontline figure in the touring and recording music industry, releasing his last studio album, “You Can’t Make Old Friends,” in 2013.

Finally, he began his “The Gambler’s Last Deal World Tour” in late 2016 which, unfortunately, ended in early 2018 due to his declining health.

He is known through measures like his songs and records shows that still artists today are inspired by, and his power is felt in different genres like country or rock and pop.

Subscribe to Nash Gab on Facebook!
Subscribe so you don't miss a thing.

Awards of Kenny Rogers

Rogers made a name for himself when he won four Grammy Awards for the songs; “Lucille” (Best Country Vocal Performance, Male), “Make No Mistake, She’s Mine” (Best Country Vocal Performance, Duet) and many more.

So, these awards are a clear indication of his unmatched talent and his commitment to his craft.

Kenny Rogers Song
Source: Facts.Net

Roger was the recipient of the CMA Awards five times, a prestigious honor crediting his outstanding works in country music.

His music and contributions to country music are still prevalent today through the adoption of the new days as well as the fans.

The Academy of Country Music Awards gave Rogers eight awards acknowledging his contribution.

After winning 11 American Music Awards, which is evidence of his endurance and his image as a golden star, Rogers deservedly sits among great names in music history.


  1. The Kenny Rogers legacy in the ceremonial name of country music goes with making deep impressions over the last sixty years.
  2. Rogers’ trophy room is filled with honors like the Grammay (four), the CMAs (five), and the AMAs (eight) which set the stage for him to be called a genius.
  3. This matter is clear since philanthropic achievements, along with a special wish to undergo public service, touched the hearts of the majority of the audience that came to watch the game.
  4. The saddening fact is Rogers died at the age of 81 of a natural virus when he was 81, on March 20, 2020.
  5. He is a legend and stays one because of his hits like “The Gambler” and “Islands in the Stream”.
  6. He seemingly lived his persona as a country music superstar – a real entertainer since ages ago.
  7. The traces of his influence will encourage the upcoming generation to be the same.

Other Articles

  1. “Buy Me A Rose” by Kenny Rogers Ft Krauss & Dean! (#1 Country Song)
  2. Celebrating Excellence’ Kennedy Center Honors 2024
  3. Songs That Helped Normalized Weed (Weed Anthems)

Skip to content