Kenny Rogers Dead: John Rich Says Late Country Icon Will Be Missed ‘Forever’

The country music community continues to mourn the loss of Kenny Rogers, who passed away on Friday. Rogers, who was 81 at the time of his death, was one of the most influential figures in country music, which is why his loss feels so profound to those who came after him, including Big & Rich's John Rich, who says he will forever miss the iconic singer.

"I had the huge honor of producing songs with this American Giant," Rich wrote along with a photo of the pair. "He was kind, funny and one of the greatest conveyers of a lyric in the history of music. The world will miss you forever. Thank you for the decades of incredible music! You define a generation." Fans were quick to respond to Rich's touching tribute, praising Rogers for the legacy he left behind.

"Was Like Merle in his own way," one person said. "Had the voice, the look and (maybe not the poet Merle was), had the great songs. A true entertainer."

"One of my favorites!!" said another. "Grew up listening to his 8 track tape in the boat in Texas!! I always think of my grandparents when I hear his music!! Will be missed greatly."

"Raise a glass of redneck Riviera and toast the life of Kenny Rogers," suggested one fan.

Redneck Riviera is Rich's own brand of whiskey, as well as the name of his Nashville bar, which has since temporarily shut its doors due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, although Rich vows to continue to pay his employees.


"With no money coming in, obviously all the money moving around is going in one direction, and that's out," Rich told The Tennessean. "And you don't know how long that's going to be for. It could be for a few months, potentially. But I would urge, and I would even go so far as to challenge other business owners on Broadway in my entertainment bar/nightclub sector, to reach into your pocket and take care of your people."

Photo Credit: Getty / Rick Diamond