Country music legend Kenny Rogers dies aged 81

Country music legend Kenny Rogers dies aged 81

AMERICAN COUNTRY music icon Kenny Rogers has died aged 81. 

A representative for the Rogers family confirmed the singer "passed away peacefully at home from natural causes". 

According to an official statement, the family are set to hold a “small private service” for the singer due to the current coronavirus pandemic. 

However, a public memorial will take place at a later date. 

One of the biggest country music stars on the planet in the 1970s and 1980s, Rogers made his name with songs like The Gambler and the Dolly Parton duet Islands In The Stream. 

A businessman who once had a series of fried chicken restaurants bearing his name, Rogers also acted in several movies and and television shows. 

With a career spanning some six decades, the Rogers family were keen to pay tribute to how he "left an indelible mark on the history of American music". 

Born into poverty on a housing estate in Houston, Texas, Rogers boasted a unique ancestry that mixed American Indian and Irish heritage. 

The 10th best-selling male artist in US music history in terms of album sales, Rogers had enjoyed a renaissance of sorts in recent years thanks to a memorable Glastonbury Festival legends slot appearance in 2013. 

His song, The Gambler, was also adopted as the England Rugby Team’s unofficial anthem for the 2007 World Cup. 

Rogers was married five times throughout his life. 

He is survived by his sons Christopher, Justin, Jordan and Kenny Jr as well as his daughter Carole.