Late Country Star Kenny Rogers' Children Are Proud of Their Father's Legacy
When Country Music Hall of Fame singer Kenny Rogers passed away aged 81, stars such as Dolly Parton offered their condolences to his family. Kenny, who came from a large family, created an equally large one of his own. There has been a lot of conversations around his five wives , but what about his children?
Kenny Rogers had five children, but he wasn't always the best dad.
Carole Rogers is the eldest child and Kenny's only daughter. Heavy reports that they rarely spent time together due to the arrangement with Carole's mother, Kenny's first wife, Janice Gordon. In his memoir, Luck or Something Like It, Kenny explained that he was just nineteen years old when he became a father. Janice's parents, however, were not thrilled with her pregnancy. The pair married in 1958 and divorced in 1960.
Shortly after their divorce, Kenny told Fox News that in retrospect, he agreed to keep his distance to allow Carole's stepfather to become the father she deserved, "He stepped in at a time that was really awkward for all of us, and he became her Dad, and I love him for that." As of 2012, Kenny was not in contact with Carole.
Kenny's second marriage to a woman named Jean lasted from 1960-1963, and did not result in children. Kenny's third marriage was to Margo Anderson in October 1964. Kenny's second child, named Kenny Rogers Jr, is an actor and composer. Shortly after Kenny and Margo's divorce in 1976, he married actress Marianne Gordon, and their marriage lasted until 1993.
Marianne and Kenny are parents to Christopher Cody Rogers, who is a director and actor. His mother even starred in one of his projects, The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw. Christopher's most recent project was a short film called Two If By Sea, which he wrote and directed in 2018.
Kenny's two youngest children were born from his fifth and final marriage to Wanda Miller. Kenny and Marianne divorced in 1993, and Kenny married Wanda in 1997. They were together until Kenny's passing in 2020. Kenny and Wanda's sons, Justin Charles Rogers and Jordan Edward Rogers are twins. When Kenny embarked on his final tour in 2016, his youngest children went with him, per Wide Open Country.
At the time of Kenny's death, the family released a statement to NBC News saying they would have a small private service due to the coronavirus pandemic, but "look forward to celebrating Kenny’s life publicly with his friends and fans at a later date." It appears that day has come, and the Kenny Rogers tribute special, featuring many of his friends in the country music business, airs on Sept. 23, 2021, at 9 p.m. EST on CBS.