Kenny Rogers Celebrated by World of Entertainment after Country Music Star Dies

The world of entertainment and music paid tribute to country music legend Kenny Rogers, who died on Friday at the age of 81.

The artist, best known for ballads such as The Gambler, Lucille and Coward Of The County, was a global superstar over a career that spanned six decades and saw him become the 10th bestselling male artist in U.S. by album sales, selling more than 50 million copies.

His family announced his death on Rogers' Twitter account, noting "he passed away peacefully at home" from natural causes.

"The Rogers family is sad to announce that Kenny Rogers passed away last night at 10:25PM at the age of 81," the statement said. "Rogers passed away peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family. The family is planning a small private service at this time out of concern for the national COVID-19 emergency. They look forward to celebrating Kenny's life publicly with his friends and fans at a later date."

The family added Rogers had "left an indelible mark on the history of American music".

Shortly after the news broke, tributes began pouring in for Rogers, who was born in Houston, and grew up on a federal housing estate.

"Kenny Rogers left an indelible mark on the history of American music. His songs have endeared music lovers and touched the lives of millions around the world," Rogers' publicist Keith Hagan said in a statement.

The Golden Globe Awards and the Grammy Awards (which Rogers won three times) also paid tribute to Rogers.

"Kenny Rogers was a Country Music Legend who inspired so many through his work," the Grammy Awards official Twitter account said. "We are forever grateful to the three-time GRAMMY Award winner for everything he gave music Thank you Kenny."

Former CNN host Piers Morgan, Hollywood producer James Woods, and comedian Patton Oswalt were also among those paying tribute to the late country star music.

"RIP Kenny Rogers, 81. What incredibly sad news. One of the all-time great country music stars & an utterly charming man," Morgan wrote in a series of tweets.

"I asked Kenny Rogers which of his songs was his favourite. He immediately said 'Lady' then corrected himself. 'Actually, it would be We've Got Tonight.'

"The lyrics seem apposite today: 'We've got tonight, who needs tomorrow? Let's make it last, let's find a way.'"

Rogers had 24 number-one hits and throughout his career, was a six-time Country Music Awards winner and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013.

"Country Music has lost the great Kenny Rogers, who has forever left a mark on Country Music's history," the Country Music Association said in a statement. "His family and friends are in our thoughts during this difficult time."

Kenny Rogers
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - DECEMBER 09: Kenny Rogers performs in concert at Golden Nugget Casino on December 9, 2017 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Donald Kravitz/Getty Images/Getty