Country music singer-songwriter Kenny Rogers dead at 81

The family of country music icon Kenny Rogers confirmed early Saturday the singer-songwriter has passed away at the age of 81.

Rogers “passed away peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family,” a representative for the singer said in a statement.

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According to Variety, the family – in light of the national COVID-19 outbreak – is planning a small private service with a public memorial slated for a later date.

Rogers ruled the pop and country airwaves throughout the 1970s and 1980s with his gravelly voice breathing life into such standards as “Lucille,” “Lady,” “Islands in the Stream” and arguably most memorably “The Gambler.”

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The Houston native won three Grammys throughout his 60-yearcareer and was also the star of a series of television movies based on “The Gambler” and other songs, The Associated Press reported.

Keith Hagan, a family representative, told the AP Rogers died peacefully at his home in Sandy Springs, Georgia, of natural causes under hospice care.

According to Variety, A&E announced a special, “Biography: Kenny Rogers,” earlier this month, slated to air April 13, which will feature a star-studded sendoff performed at the Bridgestone Arena that includes performances by Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, Don Henley, Kris Kristofferson, Alison Krauss, Chris Stapleton Little Big Town, Reba McEntire, the Flaming Lips and the Judds.

The outpouring of support for the family and reverence for Rogers rippled immediately across social media in the wake of his passing.