The death of Kenny Rogers came at a difficult time for many fans around the globe. Everybody is already facing uncertainty due to the fight against the coronavirus, leaving the death of the country legend to hit an already vulnerable fan base harder than normal.
Rogers passed away peacefully on Friday night surrounded by family, with the announcement coming early Saturday courtesy of a statement by his family. The family also confirmed that a small private service will be held.
"The Rogers family is sad to announce that Kenny Rogers passed away last night at 10:25 PM at the age of 81," the statement read. "Rogers passed away peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family."
A public memorial has been postponed due to the ongoing pandemic and quarantine, so many fans are taking their mourning and memory stroll online. Rogers' music, style, and pop culture influence have been on full display since the news of his death broke. While it is a sad moment, it offers fans a chance for distraction amid the current global crisis. It also offers a chance to relive a lot of good music from across Rogers' career.
Rogers' music career stretched from the late '60s until his health forced him to stop touring in 2018. Throughout that time, the country music icon produced several hit songs, teamed with numerous major names from the music industry, and earned accolades from all ends.
Scroll down and relive some of his best songs and pay respects to a performer that entertained millions.
Likely Rogers' most iconic tune, "The Gambler" spawned a series of films and helped cement his country music legacy. According to the song's wiki, it was one of five consecutive number ones to hit the Billboard country music chart and was a rare country song with crossover success.
This is the first hit song for Rogers as a solo artist after leaving The First Edition in 1977. It also stands as one of those traditional country songs featuring a man drinking in a bar, a downhearted woman, and a struggle at home.
Lionel Richie wrote this song as one of his first tasks after leaving The Commodores. Rogers then recorded it to create a mixture of music with crossover appeal, and one of his biggest hits.
Coward of the County
Much like "The Gambler," this song inspired a movie by the same name and tells a story with a memorable hook. It also has some controversy over the inclusion of the "Gatlin boys" as the song's villains, allegedly a reference to The Gatlin Brothers country music group by songwriter Roger Bowling.
Islands in the Stream
This iconic tune was written by The Bee Gees and recorded by Rogers and Dolly Parton, launching both to their second Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping hit respectively. It was later sampled by Pras to create the song "Ghetto Superstar" and led to several more team-ups between Parton and Rogers.
Speaking of Parton, this hit wasn't as big as "Islands in the Stream" but it still had movement on the country charts. It also spawned a concert special for HBO and tour together across nine cities in the U.S. back in 1985.
Through The Years
If you wanted an example of Rogers' typical output, look no further than this one. It covers all the bases for the singer, including romance, the imperfections of a relationship, and the feeling that sticking together is the right thing. It also led to Rogers re-teaming with Parton and Richie during his 50th anniversary TV special.
Ruby, Don't Take Your Love
The final two come from Rogers' time with The First Edition. "Ruby" represents the group leaning more toward country music and became a big hit. It peaked at six on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, landed at 39 on the country chart, and went to number 1 in the UK.
Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)
This track is likely best known for its use in The Big Lebowski during the bowling dream sequence. It's the attempt at putting an acid trip into a song but as an apparent warning against using the drug. It was Rogers' first top ten hit and got the group attention in 1968.