Tributes poured in Saturday morning for Grammy-winning country music legend Kenny Rogers, who died late Friday at age 81 after a decades-long career with crossover megahits like “The Gambler” and “Islands in the Stream.”
“I can’t express on twitter the impact Kenny Rogers the artist and the man had on me,” Blake Shelton tweeted. “He was always very kind and fun to be around. Rest in Peace Gambler.”
“Your songs are woven into the fabric of our memories, classics, that will live on in the musical heart of a world that will miss you so much,” Charlie Daniels wrote.
Wynonna praised Rogers as “One of the greatest examples of integrity I have ever known. … Life is so bittersweet.”
Dolly Parton, who partnered with her long-time friend in the duet “Islands in the Stream,” said in a tearful video message, “You never know how much you love somebody until they’re gone,” Parton tweeted. “I’ve had so many wonderful years and wonderful times with my friend Kenny, but above all the music and the success I loved him as a wonderful man and a true friend.”
Comedian and actor Patton Oswalt remembered shooting “an episode of ‘Reno 911!’ where I played a crazed stalker who shoots Kenny Rogers. The cast loved him, he told great stories, and was a joy to be around.”
Rogers’ family announced the death on the singer’s official Twitter account. “The family is planning a small private service at this time out of concern for the national COVID-19 emergency,” the family wrote. “They look forward to celebrating Kenny’s life publicly with his friends and fans at a later date.”
Rogers’ career spanned more than six decades, hitting its peak in the ’70s and ’80s. His chart-topping hits included “The Gambler,” “Lady,” “Islands In The Stream” (with longtime collaborator Dolly Parton), “Lucille,” “She Believes In Me” and “Through the Years.”
Rogers had 24 No. 1 hits, was a Country Music Hall of Fame member, six-time CMA Awards winner, three-time Grammy Award winner, recipient of the CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, CMT Artist of a Lifetime Award honoree in 2015 and was voted the “Favorite Singer of All Time” in a joint poll by readers of both USA Today and People.
Read some of the early tributes below.
I can’t express on twitter the impact Kenny Rogers the artist and the man had on me. He was always very kind and fun to be around. Rest In Peace Gambler…
— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) March 21, 2020
Thank you Kenny Rogers for being a part of our lives for so long. Your songs are woven into the fabric of our memories, classics, that will live on in the musical heart of a world that will miss you so much.
Rest in peace Gambler
— Charlie Daniels (@CharlieDaniels) March 21, 2020
Also, I woke up the news of @_KennyRogers passing. It’s not about #1s. It’s about the legacy you leave behind and he was a great man. He changed Country Music and had a voice like no other. Thank you Kenny. Thank you. ????????
— Jake Owen (@jakeowen) March 21, 2020
— Wynonna (@Wynonna) March 21, 2020
Nice rendition. Nice melody for the mind laying low. RIP Kenny Rogers pic.twitter.com/fBeMDQrXAf
— Jeffrey Wright (@jfreewright) March 21, 2020
So saddened by the news on #KennyRogers this #SaturdayMorning. He was an incredible singer I was just playing his songs 2days ago. A family favourite we played his music constantly. #SheBelievesInMe Through the years #CowardoftheCountry #Lady #SweetMusicMan #RIP???? #latoyajackson pic.twitter.com/GnzYRX0nWw
— La Toya Jackson (@latoyajackson) March 21, 2020
Thanks Kenny Rogers. R.I.P. I played this 45 in the chill out room at a rave called Pushca and George Michael was swinging to it. Fond memories! https://t.co/gdZysC8xC5
— Boy George (Boomer) (@BoyGeorge) March 21, 2020
Kenny Rogers was my introduction to Country Music, with Rueben James. I loved his storytelling style, and Ruby Don’t Take Your Guns to Town and Coward Of The County both are ones of those very few songs that make me cry. #RIPKennyRogers
— Bethany Black (@BeffernieBlack) March 21, 2020
RIP Kenny Rogers—a recipient of the Texas Medal of Arts.
The Houston born singer is a music legend & will be sorely missed. https://t.co/NJZhcc5vpL
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) March 21, 2020
Read original story Kenny Rogers Remembered by Blake Shelton, Charlie Daniels and More: ‘Rest in Peace, Gambler’ At TheWrap