Kenny Rogers Posthumously Tops 'Billboard' Chart for First Time Since 1986

Kenny Rogers died at age 81 on March 20, and the country singer has posthumously topped the Billboard charts this week, earning the top spot on the Top Country Albums chart. Rogers' The Best of Kenny Rogers: Through the Years debuted at the top of the chart this week, Billboard shares.

The album marks Rogers' first appearance at the top of the chart since 1986, when he scored the No. 1 slot with The Heart of the Matter, which spent six weeks at the top spot between the charts dated Dec. 28, 1985, and Feb. 1, 1986. The Best of Kenny Rogers: Through the Years was originally released in 2018 via Capitol Records Nashville and contains 16 of Rogers' 20 No. 1 hits including "The Gambler" and "Lucille." It also debuted at No. 9 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart, marking Rogers' first Top 10 and highest ranking project on that chart since 1983.

The Best of Kenny Rogers: Through the Years' ascent gives the late star 12 No. 1 albums on the Top Country Albums chart, the first of which was Rogers' debut self-titled album in 1977. After releasing his first album, Rogers went on to become an immensely popular star with hits across multiple genres. He has sold over 100 million records worldwide, received numerous awards and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013. He retired from performing in 2017.

Rogers died from natural causes and passed away "peacefully" at home under the care of hospice surrounded by loved ones, his family shared. In lieu of gifts, Rogers' family has asked that fans make donations to MusiCares' Coronavirus Relief Fund. MusiCares is currently collecting funds to distribute to artists, musicians and other professionals in the music industry who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, which has effectively temporarily shut down the concert industry.

"Several people have asked where donations can be made in Kenny's name," the family wrote on Rogers' Instagram account. "We suggest the @recordingacademy & @musicares COVID-19 Relief Fund to help music creators/professionals without work during the coronavirus pandemic. Kenny always wholeheartedly supported musicians, crew members & music personnel."

After Rogers' death, his family shared a statement thanking fans "for the generous outpouring of love and support coming in from all over the world these past two days."


"It’s a beautiful reminder of the positive impact Kenny has had and will continue to have on so many," they wrote. "The music lives on!"

Photo Credit: Getty / Erika Goldring