Kenny Rogers' widow, Wanda Rogers, joined the country music legend's fans on the one-year anniversary of his death. She shared a collection of intimate family photos, including one with their twin sons, Justin and Jordan, now 16. Rogers died on March 20, 2020, from natural causes at 81. He was living in hospice care at his Sandy Springs, Georgia home.
"A year ago.. our lives changed forever... but as KR always said, 'You’re never gone until you’re forgotten,'" Wanda wrote. "We will always love you." She included a photo of Rogers with Justin and Jordan as toddlers, as well as a picture of the two with their mother in front of their father's casket. Wanda's last photo shows Rogers and herself together during happier times.
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Rogers' legion of fans sent their condolences to his family and shared their favorite Rogers memories. "He will always be with you and his boys. I know Kenny is watching over you. God Bless you and the twins on this Special Day," one fan wrote. "His Love & Legacy shine brightly every day through You & all those who loved him," another fan added.
Rogers is one of the most popular country music artists of all time, joining the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013. His career began in the late 1950s, and he scored dozens of crossover hits. His signature song is "The Gambler," which earned him a Grammy and is on the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry. Rogers also acted in several movies and earned a Golden Globe nominee for "They Don't Make Them Like They Used To" from the 1986 movie Tough Guys.
Throughout Rogers' career, he often worked with artists outside the country music industry, most notably Lionel Richie. The American Idol judge performed Rogers' hit "Lady" in his honor during the Grammy Awards earlier this month. "When I wrote 'Lady' for [Kenny Rogers], little did I know it would be the start of a friendship that would last a lifetime," Rogers wrote on Instagram after the awards show. "Singing this song at the #Grammys tonight, without Kenny there, was incredibly hard. I miss you, man."
Rogers also had long professional relationships with Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton. In September 2020, McEntire credited Rogers with saving her sanity after the tragic 1991 plane crash that killed members of McEntire's band. After the tragedy, Rogers asked McEntire to join her in the TV movie The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw. "I miss him so much," McEntire said of Rogers. "He’s such a special person and a big-hearted giver."