Kenny Rogers, country music icon, dies at 81

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Kenny Rogers, a longtime star of country music, died Friday night, according to a statement posted by his family. He was 81.

Known for such hits as “The Gambler,” “Lady,” “Islands in the Stream,” and “Lucille,” Rogers died peacefully at home in Sandy Springs, Ga., of natural causes at 10:25 p.m., the statement said.

Rogers later developed “The Gambler” into a series of television movies in which he starred.

In all, Rogers had 24 No. 1 hits and was the winner of six CMA Awards and three Grammys, the family’s statement said.

He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and in 2013 he received the Country Music Association’s Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award, according to Variety.

Early in his career, Rogers led the band Kenny Rogers and The First Edition, whose hits included the Mel Tillis-written song, “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town.” – READ MORE

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