He Brought Country Music to a Pop Audience, Kenny Rogers Dies at 81

SiriusXM's 'Town Hall' With Kenny Rogers At SiriusXM's Music City Theatre in Nashville

I liked his music from his early days with The First Edition. I always was amazed that the first song they released, "Just Dropped In," was rock and psychadelic only to be followed by more mainstream and perhaps even country-tinged songs like "Reuben James" and "Ruby Don't Take Your Love To Town." Maybe it was a harbinger of where his career would eventually go?

His voice was unique, husky and deep and when the rock world turned away, out came songs like "Love Lifted Me" and "Lucille" and Kenny was back on top. In the late 70s and early 80s he was the most popular artist on the radio (country and pop) with "The Gambler" and "Coward Of The County" which would later become a series of TV movies.

He performed at the Savannah Civic Center at least three times and I saw two of them. He made everything look so effortless like he wasn't putting any energy into it at all and his banter between songs was like a neighbor telling you what was going on in his life.

Mr. Rogers had been in hospice care and died of natural causes, said his publicist, Keith Hagan.

A special, “Biography:Kenny Rogers,” had been announced by A&E earlier this month, set to air April 13. The special is said to be largely built around footage from the all-star salute Rogers received in Nashville on Oct. 25, 2017, just a couple of months before his final concert appearances.

Thank you Kenny for an incredible body of work for us to still enjoy. It's like you never left. #RIP

Photo: Getty images

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