Kenny Rogers, one of the most iconic voices in not just country music, but music in general, has passed away. His family made the announcement late tonight on his official Twitter page, saying he passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family and in hospice care from natural causes. He was 81 years old.
Kenny Rogers had a music career that lasted over seven decades, scoring numerous Billboard hits and awards. He sold over 100 million records worldwide, and is one of the best selling artists of all time. Kenny got his start in the psychedelic rock band The First Edition, which morphed into a country band under his leadership. After the band broke up in 1975, he forged out on his own, including very successful duets with Dolly Parton and Sheena Easton, and a successful time writing for Lionel Ritchie. His backing band Bloodline worked with him for most of his career. It was his 1978 song "The Gambler" that is his most well-known work, as it was picked for preservation in the National Recoding Registry by the Library of Congress in 2018.
Kenny Rogers also found success as an actor, and for founding his chain of Kenny Rogers Roasters chicken restaurants. He was a Sprint racing car manufacturer, author, and a genuine icon worldwide. On a personal note, some of my personal earliest memories are driving around with my mother listening to Kenny Rogers songs on the way to school and such, and watching his specials with Dolly Parton. His voice is like a warm blanket for me, and the below song, "Lady", was always my favorite.