Kenny Rodgers passed away in March of 2020, leaving behind five children to mourn him. The country legend was father to Christopher Cody Rogers, Carole Rogers, Jordan Edward Rogers, Justin Charles Rogers and Kenny Rogers Jr.
Since Rodgers' death, many continue to mourn him — including his close friends like Lionel Richie and Dolly Parton who admitted on the TODAY Show on April 2 how his death just "broke" her heart. Rodgers was a native of Houston, Texas, and was married five times in his life. His children vary widely in age and upbringing, but each one carries on his legacy after his passing.
Rogers passed away in his home in Georgia on March 20, according to an official statement from his publicist, Keith Hagan. He was surrounded by family when he died, and was receiving hospice care at home. He died of natural causes The family intends to keep his funeral service small and private, and hopes to have a larger memorial sometime down the road after stating they would postpone memorial arrangements after the coronavirus outbreak cools down.
Rogers was a country music icon to many, known for songs like "Through the Years," Lady" and "Islands in the Stream," among many others. His kept his personal life more or less to himself, but there is a lot to know about the large family Rogers left behind.
Here are the details on Rogers' children.
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Rogers was married five times in his life, and each marriage lasted longer than the one before it. He had one daughter with his first wife, Janice Gordon, before they divorced in 1960, and none with his second wife, Jean Rogers, whom he divorced in 1963. Rogers had one son with Margo Anderson during a marriage lasting from 1964 to 1976, and another with Marianne Gordon, whom he married the following year and divorced in 1993.
Finally, Rogers had twin sons with his wife Wanda Miller, who he married in 1997 and stayed with until the time of his passing.prevnext
Rogers' eldest child, Carole Rogers, came from his first marriage to Janice Gordon. According to a report by The Los Angeles Times, Rogers was just 19 years old when he fathered Carole.prevnext
Kenny Rogers Jr.
There is a big age gap between Carole and Rogers' next child, Kenny Rogers Jr., who is now 55 years old. Kenny Jr. has worked as a composer on movie soundtracks like Get Him to the Greek, and has also appeared in TV shows and movies as well, such as About a Bum and a Boy. He even directed his first short film in 2014.prevnext
Christopher Cody Rogers
Christopher Cody Rogers is likely Kenny Rogers' child with the biggest profile in the public eye. He has worked as an actor, writer, director and producer, with a credited appearance on Reno 911! He also appeared in the TV movie adaptation of his father's song "The Gambler" in 1991, when he was still a child.prevnext
Justin Charles and Jordan Edward Rogers
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Finally, Rogers' youngest two children are Justin Charles Rogers and Jordan Edward Rogers, twin boys born in 2004. In a 2013 interview with The Tennessean, Rogers said that he did not think he had been there enough for his older children, but hoped to redeem himself with his twins.
"I think success requires that you be selfish sometimes, and I refuse to do that now," he said. I'm determined to stay home with the boys, and it’s really a wonderful gift for me. So if I have no more success, I'm OK. But to have the opportunity to have success [is really special]."prevnext
Rogers' large family makes sense considering that he himself was the fourth out of eight siblings. He was born in Houston, Texas in 1938, the son of a carpenter and a nurse's assistant.prevnext
The Rogers family is sad to announce that Kenny Rogers passed away last night at 10:25PM at the age of 81. Rogers passed away peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family. https://t.co/adxAgiMW2s pic.twitter.com/nggWiiotMT— Kenny Rogers (@_KennyRogers) March 21, 2020
Rogers' family was reportedly by his side when he passed away on Friday. His publicist issued a public statement on their behalf.
"In a career that spanned more than six decades, Kenny Rogers left an indelible mark on the history of American music," it said. "The family is planning a small private service at this time out of concern for the national COVID-19 emergency. They look forward to celebrating Kenny’s life publicly with his friends and fans at a later date."prev