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Singer, actor, 'The Gambler': Kenny Rogers dies at 81

Video Credit: ABC 10 News | San Diego
Published on March 21, 2020 - Duration: 03:09s
Singer, actor, 'The Gambler': Kenny Rogers dies at 81
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Singer, actor, 'The Gambler': Kenny Rogers dies at 81

BREAKING OVERNIGHT-- COUNTRYLEGEND KENNY ROGERS HASPASSED AWAY.STEPHANIE ELAM LOOKS BACK AT THELIFE AND CAREER OF THEMAN BEHIND THE GAMBLER ANDLUCILLE.YOU PICKED A FINE TIME TO LEAVEME LUCILLE..."TWO YEARS BEFORE "LUCILLE"LAUNCHED KENNY ROGERS' SOLOCAREER...HE COULD BARELY AFFORD TO LIVEIN A MOTEL.BUT WHEN THE SONG BECAME ACHART-TOPPING, CROSS-OVERINTERNATIONAL HIT...HE HAD ENOUGH MONEY TO BUY HISOWN JET.KENNY ROGERS WAS ON A ROLL."YOU GOTTA KNOW WHEN TO HOLD'EM, KNOW WHEN TO FOLD EM."19-78'S "THE GAMBLER" INSPIREDFIVE POPULAR T-V MOVIES -- WITHROGERS STARRING AS THE MAINCHARACTER.HE MADE ANOTHER T-V MOVIE BASEDON ONE OF HIS SONGS -- COWARDOF THE COUNTY."YOU KNOW HIS FATHER KILLED AMAN.

IT WAS A FAIR FIGHT."THE COUNTRY BOY FROM HOUSTONDIDN'T START OUT IN COUNTRYMUSIC.HE HAD A MILLION-SELLING POPSONG -- AT AGE 19...WITH THE DOO-WOP GROUP "THESCHOLARS.""OH YES, I'VE GOT THAT CRAZYFEELING."ROGERS ALSO PLAYED BASS IN AJAZZ ENSEMBLE...SPENT A YEAR IN THE MID 19-60SSINGING CLEAN-CUT FOLK MUSICWITHTHE NEW CHRISTY MINSTRELS...THEN GREW OUT HIS HAIR ANDROCKED THE NEXT DECADE WITH "THEFIRST EDITION."I JUST DROPPED IN TO SEE WHATCONDITION MY CONDITION WAS IN.""JUST DROPPED IN" WAS THEGROUP'S FIRST BIG HIT.AFTER THE FIRST EDITION FOLDEDIN THE MID-70S, ROGERS HEADED TONASHVILLE TO START A SOLOCAREER"LADY...I'M YOUR NIGHT INSHINING ARMOR AND I LOVE YOU."THE CLASSIC LOVE SONG "LADY" WASWRITTEN BY LIONEL RICHIE OF THECOMMODORES."I TRY TO DO SONGS THAT SAY WHATEVERY MAN WOULD LIKE TO SAY ANEVERY WOMAN WOULD LIKE TO HEAR."ROGERS DID DUETS AS WELL."ISLANDS IN THE STREAM, THAT ISWHAT WE ARE."19-83'S "ISLANDS IN THE STREAM"WAS WRITTEN FOR SOMEONE ELSE TOSING...BEFORE BARRY GIBB OF THE BEE-GEES GAVE IT TO ROGERS.IT WAS THE START OF A LIFE-LONGFRIENDSHIP WITH DOLLY PARTON."WE CAN'T GO ON PRETENDING DAYBY DAY."CHARITY WORK WAS A BIG PART OFROGERS' LIFE."WE ARE THE WORLD" RAISED MONEYFOR AFRICAN FAMINERELIEF.AND HE HELPED ORGANIZE THEPOVERTY FUND-RAISER "HANDSACROSS AMERICA."LATER IN LIFE, ROGERS OPENED ACHAIN OF RESTAURANTS...LAUNCHED A RECORDLABEL...PUBLISHED HIS AUTO-BIOGRAPHY...AND IN 20-14, HE WAS INDUCTEDINTO THE COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OFFAME."YOU NEVER COUNT YOUR MONEY..."IN 20-15, AT THE AGE OF 77,ROGERS EMBARKED ON A TOUR BILLEDAS"THE GAMBLER'S LAST DEAL."STILL SINGING HIS CLASSICS, ANDSTILL GETTING APPLAUSE.HIS FAMILY SAYS HE PASSED AWAYPEACEFULLY AT HOME FROMNATURAL CAUSES UNDER THE CARE OFHOSPICE AND SURROUNDED BYHIS FAMILY.KENNY ROGERS WAS 81 YEARS OL

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