With the passing of Kenny Rogers in 2020, the country music community lost a legend.
The Texas-born, 81-year-old singer-songwriter, actor, and producer passed away from natural causes at a hospice in March 2020, accompanied by his family.Wanda,
Kenny’s sixth wife, and his five children are his only survivors. Kenny said it was love at first sight when he first saw Wanda while he was out on a date with another woman.
“I’m honestly not sure she even looked at me, but I saw her. I don’t know what and I don’t know why, but there was just something incredibly different about her from the minute I saw her,” the then 54-year-old said of Wanda who was 26 at the time and working as a hostess at the restaurant.
The two began dating, much to Wanda’s parents’ disgust due to the age difference.
Rogers explained: “Her parents are two years younger than me. They called me when we started dating and said, ‘We want you to know we didn’t appreciate what you’re doing with our daughter’.”
Despite opposition from both families, the couple dated for five years before getting married on June 1, 1997, at Kenny’s ranch outside of Athens, Georgia. The couple had Justin and Jordan, twin twins, on July 6, 2004, in Atlanta, Georgia, seven years later.
Jordan Edward Rogers and Justin Charles Rogers were both born weighing 5 pounds, 8 ounces and 6 pounds, 10 ounces, respectively.
Given that Wanda has an identical twin sister and that twins run in her family, the happy parents weren’t shocked to learn they were expecting twins.
Kenny also has three children—Kenny Jr., Carole, and Christopher—from a prior union with Marianne Gordon.
Kenny Rogers, who retired in 2015, said at the time, “I’ve been so lucky to have enjoyed such a long career and to have such amazing support from my fans and all who have helped me along the way, but there comes a time when I need to focus on spending time with my family.”
“My life is about my wife and my 11-year-old twin boys right now. There are a lot of things I want to do together with them to create some special memories.”
The following year he came out of retirement and took both boys on his final tour ‘The Gambler’s Last Deal’.
“My goal is to spend some time with them and take them to some places they might not have gone to without me. So, they can look back someday and say, ‘My dad took me there.’ That, to me, is my legacy to them,” the star told Rare Country.
Kenny jokingly said he’d “have to retire sooner” if he took his boys, who were 11 at the time, on every date of the tour, but he did add he planned to take them to Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, and then Asia.
He explained to Rare Country that he gave each student a camera and instructed them to snap numerous images of the things they enjoyed doing so they could show their class what they had seen while on their safari in Africa.
“When we got them back they were all selfies..I’ll have to teach them something else I guess,” he joked.
When Rogers decided to stop touring so he could spend more time with his sons he told CMT: “I hope my fans understand that I’m a father first and a singer second… I’m missing some very great parts of my boys’ lives. I know as well as anybody else how that time gets away from you. And I don’t want to miss it. I just worry about how much longer I’m going to be here, and I want to have time to spend with them. It’s pretty simple.”
In a 2017 Instagram post, Kenny Rogers listed being a father as one of his most fulfilling experiences.
Fans are aware that Kenny ultimately decided to postpone the final dates of his 2018 tour owing to health concerns. When his sons were 15 years old, Dad passed away in March 2020 at the age of 81.
We appreciate that the celebrity was able to spend time with his family towards the end. He shared a lot of joyful experiences with them, which I hope console his boys, who are now 19 years old.
Please share with all the Kenny Rogers’ fans you know.