When Kenny Rogers passed away, he left behind his fifth wife, Wanda Miller, whom he was married to for 22 years, as well as their 15-year-old twin sons (along with three grown children from previous marriages). Miller, who is 24 years younger than Rogers, married Rogers in 1997.
Ironically, Rogers met Miller at a restaurant, where she was working at a place called Pricci, and the country music superstar was out on a blind date. Although Miller was quickly smitten with Rogers, it took a while for her parents to give their blessing to their relationship.
"Her parents are two years younger than me," Rogers once said (via MSN). "They called me when we started dating and said, 'We want you to know we didn't appreciate what you're doing with our daughter,' and I said, 'First of all I don't blame you. I don't think I would either but I will make you a promise. I will never lie to her and I will never lie to you.'"
Because of their age gap, Rogers knew early on that he wanted to spend his remaining years with Miller.
"As wrong as it may have looked, I also knew this — my relationship with Wanda felt right to me," Rogers said.
Thankfully, it didn't take long for Miller's parents to give Rogers their blessing.
"Now they're my best friends," Rogers said at the time. "She is truly my soul mate. She knows me better than anyone has ever known me before. We've been together for 20 years... I have such great respect for her as a mother... The boys are so lucky to have her and so am I."
Miller was quickly smitten with Rogers once they started spending time together, even though she initially thought her co-workers were joking when they said Rogers called the restaurant asking about her.
“I came in the next day and they all said, Kenny Rogers called asking about you,” Miller recalled to the Valdosta Daily Times. “They gave me a piece of paper with a number on it. I threw it away. I thought it was a joke. They dug it out of the trash and said it was for real. I called him back but I never thought I would date him.”
It was Miller who convinced Rogers to become a father again, even though he was 65 years old when they were born.
"I did some soul-searching and realized it was unfair of me to take her childbearing years," Rogers once told Independent. "So we went for it, and when I was told it was twins, man, I was thrilled.”
Miller has a twin sister named Tonia, who she appears to remain close with, according to Miller's latest post on Instagram.
"God blessed me with you as my sister!" Miller posted in November. "Happy birthday to my Best friend!"
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One of Miller's favorite things about her husband was how level-headed he was, even in the most dire circumstances.
"He’s so nice. I’ve only seen him mad or upset maybe four times,” Miller once boasted. “He really could be a gambler but he’s not. He has that even temperament."
Rogers became a much more present father with his twins than he was with his previous children, which he credits to Miller and her role as a mother.0comments
“I hope my fans understand that I’m a father first and a singer second,” Rogers told CMT. “As it turns out, I’m missing some very great parts of my boys’ lives. I know as well as anybody else how that time gets away from you. And I don’t want to miss it. I just worry about how much longer I’m going to be here, and I want to have time to spend with them. It’s pretty simple.”
Photo Credit: Getty / Charley Gallay