Movies | March 21, 2020 3:43 am

Kenny Rogers, Country Musician and Actor, Dead at 81

His hits included "Islands in the Stream" and "The Gambler"

Kenny Rogers
Kenny Rogers in 1981.
University of Houston

If you listened to pop or country radio in the 1970s or 1980s, odds are good that you still have a Kenny Rogers song or two running through your head. Such was the ubiquity of his musical career — and his penchant for crossover stardom. Rogers died on Friday in the company of his family, reports Variety. He was 81 years old.

Rogers’s hit songs include “Islands in the Stream,” “The Gambler” and “Lucille.” He recorded a Lionel Ritchie composition and is known for a duet with Dolly Parton — but that’s only part of his wide-ranging appeal. Variety‘s report on his death also includes a mention of his farewell concert, which took place in Nashville on October 25, 2017. Note the lineup:

Among the guests who joined him for that sentimental sendoff at the Bridgestone Arena were Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, Don Henley, Kris Kristofferson, Alison Krauss, Chris Stapleton, Little Big Town, Reba McEntire, the Flaming Lips and the Judds.

If your admirers include both The Flaming Lips and Lionel Ritchie, that speaks volumes about your reach as a musician. Among those taking to social media in the wake of Rogers’s passing was comedian and actor Patton Oswalt, who shared fond memories of an episode of Reno 911! in which they both appeared — and spoke to Rogers’s warm presence.

Rogers also acted in a number of films and co-founded a fast food chain, among other pursuits. His was a wide-ranging life, much like his music; it’s one that will be well-remembered by many.

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