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Country Music Star, Kenny Roger’s Dies At 81

By Glam & Essence

Kenny Rogers, one of the biggest American country music artist and three times Grammy winner, who dominated the pop and country charts in the 1970s and 1980s has died at the age of 81.
His family made this known in a statement on saturday that read:
“The Rogers family is sad to announce that Kenny Rogers passed away last night at 10.25pm.Rogers passed away peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family.”
Due to the national COVID-19 emergency, the family said it was planning a small private service, with a public memorial planned for a later date.
The country star whose career spanned more than six decades,made hit songs like The Gambler, Lady, Islands In The Stream, Lucille, She Believes In Me, and Through the Years.
His appealing, sometimes gritty voice propelled 20 solo 45s to No. 1 on the country charts from 1977-87. His 1980 reading of Lionel Richie’s Lady and his 1983 collaboration with Dolly Parton Islands in the Stream (penned by the Bee Gees), also topped the pop lists. He worked profitably with a number of other female vocalists, including Dottie West, Sheena Easton, Kim Carnes and Anne Murray.
Besides Rogers music success ,he was also successful with his side career as an actor.
Rogers was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013 and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Country Music Association that same year.
Born and raised in Houston, he was the fourth of eight children in a poor family. He took to the guitar as an adolescent, and would sometimes perform with another aspiring local musician and future star, Mickey Gilley.
His early professional career was stylistically eclectic. While in high school, he formed a rockabilly group, the Scholars, who recorded for Carlton Records, a local label. After a brief stint at the University of Houston, he played bass with the jazz groups of Bobby Doyle and Kirby Stone.
Following his move to Los Angeles in 1966, he joined the folk-pop unit ,the New Christy Minstrels, a group that also numbered such performers as Carnes, the Byrds’ Gene Clark, Eve of Destruction vocalist Barry McGuire and the Lovin’ Spoonful’s Jerry Yester among its members at one time or another.
He earned five more No. 1 solo country singles by the end of the 1970s. The biggest of these were the Grammy-winning for The Gambler (also No. 16 pop in 1978) and Rogers’ biggest hit, the backwoods narrative Coward of the County (also No. 3 pop in 1979). They pushed the albums The Gambler and Kenny to No. 12 and No. 5, respectively, on the pop album charts.
On the heels of a No. 1 greatest hits set in 1980, Rogers’ hits of the decade for Liberty and RCA found him moving increasingly into pop terrain and focusing on romantic balladry. Lady and Islands in the Stream solidified his standing as country’s biggest crossover attraction; his rendering of Bob Seger’s” We’ve Got Tonight” with Sheena Easton ruled the country chart and rose to No. 6 on the pop chart. In all, he recorded 23 top-10 country hits during the decade, five of which crossed to the pop side.
In 2013, he was the recipient of the CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award.Again,he received a similar honour from CMT with its Artist of a Lifetime Award in 2015. He was voted the Favourite Singer of All Time in a joint poll by readers of both USA Today and People.
Rogers announced his retirement in September 2015, not long after a widely aired commercial for Geico insurance

Glam & Essence Magazine

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