Across Country music and beyond, the tributes have been pouring in for Kenny Rogers.
Rogers passed away this weekend at the age of 81, reportedly dying peacefully in his sleep on Friday night. "In a career that spanned more than six decades, Kenny Rogers left an indelible mark on the history of American music," his family shared in a statement. "His songs have endeared music lovers and touched the lives of millions around the world."
That impact has rippled across all of music the past couple days, with artists sharing their memories and love for “The Gambler” singer.
“I just enjoyed how honest he was. He wasn’t a fake person. Who you saw on the stage was who you saw in sweats offstage,” Garth Brooks told Billboard. Rogers was the first artist that Brooks went on tour with, opening for him in 1989. He would later help induct him into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
“No matter what he was doing, he was the ultimate professional and what he will be remembered for is the same way that I want to be remembered, if that’s even possible, because he was Springsteen. He was Neil Diamond. He was entertainment. I was lucky, lucky, lucky just to get to be a page in that book.”
On Saturday morning, Dolly Parton offered up some of her thoughts on the passing of Rogers, delivering a faith-filled touching tribute to her duet partner. “I loved Kenny with all my heart. My heart’s broken, and a big ol’ chunk has gone with him today,” she said.
Tim McGraw posted a photo of himself and wife Faith Hill, posing with Kenny at an event, sharing a story of his mother taking him out of school to help get tickets to see the “Islands In The Stream” singer.
“I stood in line all day and got to the window just as last 2 tickets were sold,” he wrote on Instagram. “Years later in college, I was working at the Civic Center selling popcorn up and down the aisles and got to see him. Still one of my favorites of all time….my mom still loves him. Love ya Kenny, my man. Sending love to Kenny’s family.”
“Can’t believe I ever got to know you,” Luke Bryan gushed in his tribute post. “Your music and movies shaped my life. A true country music superstar”
Meanwhile former President George W. Bush used his post about Kenny Rogers as a call to listen to his music, and be uplifted.
Rogers had over 20 Country number one hits, won three GRAMMY Awards, and six CMA Awards during his career. The family has also announced that they are planning a small private service, given concerns over coronavirus at this time, with hopes for a public gathering with fans at a later time.