The realm of country music suffered a profound loss in the year 2020, with the departure of Kenny Rogers.
Kenny Rogers, the singer-songwriter, actor, and producer hailing from Texas, left us at the age of 81. He peacefully passed away from natural causes in a hospice, surrounded by his loved ones in March 2020. His legacy lives on through his fifth wife, Wanda, and his five children. Interestingly, Kenny’s journey with Wanda began when he spotted her during a date with another woman; he described it as love at first sight.
Grown-Up Status Achieved: Kenny Rogers’ Twin Sons, Justin and Jordan, Progress into Adulthood
Reflecting on that moment, Kenny said, “I’m not sure if she even looked at me, but I saw her. I can’t explain it, but there was an inexplicable uniqueness about her from the instant I laid eyes on her.” At the time, Kenny was 54, while Wanda, who worked as a hostess at a restaurant, was 26.
Despite familial objections due to the age gap, Kenny and Wanda’s relationship flourished over five years, culminating in their marriage on June 1, 1997, at Kenny’s ranch near Athens, Georgia. Seven years later, their family expanded with the birth of twin sons, Justin and Jordan, on July 6, 2004, in Atlanta, Georgia. Weighing 6 pounds, 10 ounces, and 5 pounds, 8 ounces, respectively, the twins’ arrival was a joyous occasion. This was not entirely surprising given that twins also run in Kenny’s family, and Wanda has an identical twin sister.
Kenny Rogers had three children from his previous marriage to Marianne Gordon: Kenny Jr., Christopher, and Carole. Following his retirement in 2015, Kenny stated, “I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have a long career and to have received tremendous support from my fans and all those who have aided me on this journey. However, there comes a point where I need to prioritize spending time with my family.”
He expressed that his life was centered around his wife and his 11-year-old twin sons at that time. In the subsequent year, he temporarily emerged from retirement to embark on his final tour, named ‘The Gambler’s Last Deal,’ taking his boys along with him. Kenny shared, “My intention is to create cherished memories with them and introduce them to places they might not have visited otherwise. So that, someday, they can reminisce and say, ‘My dad took me there.’ That, to me, is my legacy to them.”
During the tour, he humorously remarked that if he included his boys in every performance, he would have to retire sooner than planned. He disclosed his plans to take his 11-year-old boys to Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, and Asia. He recounted a safari trip to Africa where he gave his sons cameras and instructed them to capture things they enjoyed so they could show their classmates upon their return. In jest, Kenny said, “When we received the photos, they were all selfies. I guess I need to teach them a different lesson.”
As Kenny Rogers decided to conclude his touring career to prioritize his sons, he conveyed to CMT, “I hope my fans understand that I am a father first and a singer second… I’m missing out on some incredibly special moments in my boys’ lives. I recognize how swiftly time slips away, and I don’t want to miss out. I ponder how much time I have left, and I want to allocate it to spending quality moments with them. It’s as simple as that.”
In a heartwarming Instagram post from 2017, Kenny expressed that one of the most gratifying aspects of his life was being a father. Regrettably, Kenny was compelled to cancel the remaining dates of his last tour in 2018 due to health complications. He departed in March 2020 at the age of 81, leaving behind his 15-year-old boys.
It is reassuring to acknowledge that the star was able to create valuable memories with his family during his final years. These cherished moments can hopefully bring solace to his now 19-year-old sons. Please share this story with all the admirers of Kenny Rogers you know.