Kenny Rogers, the interesting, gritty voice behind such ’70s and ’80s pop and nation hits as “The Gambler,” “Lady” and “Islands in the Stream,” has died at age 81.
Rogers “handed away peacefully at residence from pure causes underneath the care of hospice and surrounded by his household,” a rep for the singer instructed Variety.
In deference to the COVID-19 emergency, the household is holding a small, non-public service, although a public memorial will likely be held in the future.
The bearded, prematurely grey singer was at first a rustic star, notching 20 solo 45s to the prime of the nation charts between 1977 and 1987, Variety famous.
His 1978 nation hit “The Gambler” contains the lyrics, “Crushed out his cigarette, and light off to sleep/And someplace in the darkness, The Gambler, he broke even/But in his ultimate phrases I discovered an ace that I might preserve.”
Rogers’ greatest pop/crossover hits have been “Lady” in 1980 and “Islands in the Stream,” a duet with Dolly Parton from 1983.
The star had been hospitalized for dehydration final Spring. He introduced his retirement in 2017.