Country music icon Kenny Rogers has died aged 81, his family confirmed.
The star passed away of natural causes at his home in Sandy Springs, in northern Fulton County, Georgia, and his family issued a statement on Saturday morning.
The Family confirmed via his twitter.
Despite his crossover success, he always preferred to be thought of as a country singer.
In 2015, he said: ‘You either do what everyone else is doing and you do it better, or you do what no-one else is doing and you don’t invite comparison.
‘And I chose that way because I could never be better than Johnny Cash or Willie or Waylon at what they did.
‘So I found something that I could do that didn’t invite comparison to them. And I think people thought it was my desire to change country music. But that was never my issue.’
Over his career Kenny regularly worked with female duet partners, but more memorable than most was Country icon Dolly Parton and their song Islands in the Stream.
The iconic duo were paired following a suggestion by Bee Gee Barry Gibb, who penned the tune, which went on to become a huge hit.
Discussing the partnership and Barry’s suggestion in 2017, Kenny said: ‘Barry was producing an album on me and he gave me this song.
‘And I went and learned it and went into the studio and sang it for four days. And I finally looked at him and said, “Barry, I don’t even like this song anymore.”
‘And he said, “You know what we need? We need Dolly Parton.” I thought, “Man, that guy is a visionary.”
Their plan came together perfectly, as coincidentally Dolly happened to be in the same recording studios in Los Angeles when the idea came up.
Reminiscing on the moment, Kenny said: ‘From the moment she marched into that room, that song never sounded the same.
The singers both toured and continued to record together for years to come, including their last duet, You Can’t Make Old Friends, which was released in 2013.
Kenny, who has wed five times, was latterly married to Wanda Miller. The pair tied-the-knot in 1997 and have remained together since.
The singer and 52-year-old beauty are parents to 14-year-old identical twin sons, Jordan and Justin.
Also the father to three other children, Kenny revealed in 2014 that initially when he began dating Wanda, her parents did not approve.
A true rags-to-riches story, Rogers was raised in public housing in Houston Heights with seven siblings.
As a 20-year-old, he had a gold single called That Crazy Feeling, under the name Kenneth Rogers, but when that early success stalled, he joined a jazz group, the Bobby Doyle Trio, as a standup bass player.
But his breakthrough came when he was asked to join the New Christy Minstrels, a folk group, in 1966.
His all time favourite among his fans remains The Gambler
Rest in peace Rogers.
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