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Kenny Rogers Dead At 81 — Details Revealed About The Country Music Legend's Possible Cause Of Death

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How Did Kenny Rogers Die? Details Revealed The Country Singer's Battle With Cancer

Kenny Rogers has died at the age of 81. According to a statement released by a representative for the country singer's family, Rogers “passed away last night [Friday, March 20, 2020] at 10:25PM at the age of 81. [He] passed away peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family."

The name "Kenny Rogers" is a name that resonates, not just through country music, but through popular music in general. He was responsible for some of the biggest hits of the 1970s and 1980s, and his songs have become the soundtrack of our lives. 

Here’s what we know about the country music legend’s recent history and health issues, including how he died from a possible cancer battle. 

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1. 2019 reports claimed he was dying of bladder cancer.

According to Radar Online in May of 2019, then-80-year-old Kenny Rogers was battling bladder cancer — the same disease that caused him to retire from the public eye in 2018..

“He’s a lot sicker than he’s ever let on to the public — or even to his friends,” a source close to Kenny told the outlet.

Kenny Rogers has a decades-long career in country music. 

2. He allegedly sold off all his assets to prepare for his “final goodbye.”

It’s not unusual for someone who is dying to settle his legal and financial affairs before he finally says goodbye.

And according to the National Enquirer, that’s exactly what Kenny Rogers did.

“Kenny has bravely tried to wrap up the loose ends of his extraordinary life — such as signing over his $1.3 million home to his wife, Wanda Miller. “He just wants to stay alive long enough to see his 14-year-old twin boys, Justin and Jordan, graduate from high school,” reported the outlet.

Kenny Rogers is one of the few artists who gets love and respect from fans of all generations.

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3. He told Dolly Parton goodbye.

One of the biggest songs of the 1980s was the song “Islands in the Stream,” a song written by Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees, and subsequently sampled by Wu-Tang Clan’s Ol’Dirty Bastard in the song “Ghetto Superstar.”

That was a song that Kenny Rogers recorded as a duet with the equally legendary Dolly Parton — a woman he reportedly “loved” all these years.

So, when Dolly Parton invited him over to record some songs, Kenny Rogers declined, and told her “goodbye” for the final time.

“Dolly begged him to join her to try to write some songs.  But even a short drive was too much for him. “He literally could no longer stand for more than a few minutes at a time!” according to Radar Online.

4. Kenny Rogers’ illness allegedly resulted from his previous battle with hepatitis C.

According to The National Enquirer, Kenny Rogers developed bladder cancer because of his previous battle with hepatitis C. The singer reportedly developed the rather common ailment more than 25 years ago, although it’s unclear how he developed the liver disease.

“Kenny has always tried to take the best, most optimistic approach to his health problems and not complain about what he’s going through,” according to the outlet in 2019. “But since he’s gone AWOL and even his close friends aren’t hearing from him, you just fear the worst, that he’s decided to live out his final days with just his family at his side.”

"The family is planning a small private service at this time out of concern for the national COVID-19 emergency," according to the statement released by his representatives. "They look forward to celebrating Kenny’s life publicly with his friends and fans at a later date." We wish the family, friends and fans of Kenny Rogers all the best during this obviously difficult time.

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in People, Teen Vogue, Us Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and more. Find her online at bernadettegiacomazzo.com.

Editor's Note: A version of this article was first published in May 2019 and has been updated with the latest news.