Kenny Rogers left behind his fifth wife, Wanda Miller, whom he had been married to for 22 years before he died. Additionally, the country music star left behind five kids from four wives.
The legend, whose career spanned more than 60 years, passed away at the age of 81 in March 2020. He took the stage one last time alongside his sidekick Dolly Parton in Nashville in 2017.
Thanks to hits like “The Gambler,” “Lucille,” or “Coward Of The County,” the singer born in Texas in 1938 has left an indelible mark on the world of American music and country music lovers.
His career began in the late 1950s, and he quickly became a benchmark in rockabilly, jazz, and other genres that he reinterpreted in his country style.
A handful of singles launched his solo career, but it’s a song launched in 1977, “Lucille,” composed by Nashville’s Roger Bowling, that puts his name on the lips of all North American country lovers.
His song “The Gambler,” from an eponymous album released in 1978, became his flagship hit, a huge hit in the United States and abroad while being the first person in his family to receive a high school diploma.
Rogers had starred in a series of films based on the song, also called “The Gambler,” but liked to joke that he wasn’t a big fan of betting or gaming.
His songs have topped the charts over 20 times, and he has received six “Country Music Awards.” He is also a member of the “Country Music Hall of Fame.”
His sweet ballads, like “Lady” written by Lionel Richie, and his constant tours had earned him a reputation as a mainstream pop artist, notably thanks to his reinterpretations of Christmas carols.
His many successes, his formidable duets, and, above all, his country-rock mixtures allowed Rogers, and country music by ripple effect, to reach a whole new audience.
The three-time Grammy winner had canceled the last dates of his 2018 farewell tour for health reasons. He was married five times and was the father of five children from four women.
The first woman to be his wife was Janice Gordon, whom he married in 1958. In 1960, they already had a child together and were also divorced. She was followed by Jean Massey in 1960 and divorced in 1963.
Margo Anderson was next in 1963, and they were together until 1976 with a child, Kennedy, born in 1964. The following year, he married Marianne Gordon, and they were divorced in 1993 with Christopher Cody Rogers, born in 1982.
In 1997, he was married to Wanda Miller and remained with her until he passed away in 2020. They have two children, Justin Charles and Jordan Edward, both born on July 6, 2004.
Besides being a husband and a father, he published several photography books, sold over 100 million albums worldwide, made time to act in movies while also being a record producer and entrepreneur.
Rogers and Miller met when Rogers was on a blind date with someone else at the restaurant Miller worked at. On sighting her, he said she rocked his core.
Her parents didn’t approve of the relationship when they started dating because Rogers was only two years younger than them and 28 years older than Miller.
Her parents later came around, and after five years of dating, the couple was married and stayed married for over twenty years.
At first, the couple decided not to have children because Rogers already had three children. By the time Miller turned 31, she had changed her mind and spoke to him about it.
After some soul searching, he agreed because he didn’t want her to wake up years later with regrets about not having kids. When they decided to try, they were blessed with twins.
Even though it worried him that he wouldn’t be around in their lives to share milestones with them because he was already 65, Rogers was sure that he was good at being a father.
This time, he decided to put his family first and saw himself as a father first before a singer. Rogers also revealed that Millers, his soul mate, is a phenomenal mother to their identical twin boys.