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Country music legend Kenny Rogers dies aged 81
21 March 2020, 07:30
Country music legend Kenny Rogers has died at the age of 81 from "natural causes", his family have confirmed.
Known for hits such as Coward Of The County and The Gambler, Rogers "passed away peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family", his representative said in a statement.
Rogers, who also enjoyed success in partnership with Dolly Parton, had announced a farewell tour in 2015 but continued performing until 2017.
The multiple Grammy winner, who played the legends slot at Glastonbury in 2013, had planned further performances but called off the shows in April 2018 due to unspecified "health challenges".
He said in a statement at the time: "I've thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity to say farewell to the fans over the course of the past two years.
"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."
Born and raised in Houston, Rogers's trademark gravelly voice helped bring him 20 solo single number ones on the US country charts between 1977-87.
Two of those songs - his duet of Islands In The Stream with Parton and his remake of Lionel Richie's Lady - also hit the top of the pop charts.
Rogers was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013 and gained a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Country Music Association the same year.
As tributes to Rogers began to flow in, singer Richard Marx tweeted: "I'm so sad to see Kenny Rogers go. He did so much for me as a young songwriter and we stayed friends for over 30 years.
"I'll really miss him. May he rest easy."