Legendary singer Kenny Rogers has died. That has a lot of people wondering about his wives. How many times was Kenny Rogers married? Five times, and he once said that he loved each one of them. However, his final marriage was the most enduring, by far.
Rogers once famously said: “Music, at least for me, is like a mistress, and she’s a difficult mistress for a wife to compete with” when explaining his many marriages. However, he was still married to his fifth wife, Wanda Miller, at the time of his death. That was a long-term marriage that lasted since 1997.
Kenny told Reuters: “When I became driven and selfish I was so intent to follow my life that it cost me. I was gone so much from some of my marriages that there was a disconnect.”
He added: “And this may seem like an absurd statement, but every woman I married, I really loved when I married her. And I don’t blame them for the marriage falling apart. I blame myself and my chosen field of music. That’s why I say that music is a mistress, because you can’t wait to get out there to it, and usually the mistress wins in a situation like that. That’s kind of what happened to me. Hey, you can’t say I’m afraid of commitment. I’ve been married five times.”
Kenny’s family broke the sad news of his death on Twitter. Rogers, of course, was famous for such enduring tunes as “Lucille,” “Islands in the Stream,” and “The Gambler.”
The sad news broke at 1:06 a.m. on March 21, 2020. Rogers died the night before at 10:25 p.m. “The Rogers family is sad to announce that Kenny Rogers passed away last night at 10:25PM at the age of 81. Rogers passed away peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family,” the family wrote. Here’s the family’s tweet:
Kenny was survived by five children and his final wife, Wanda Miller Rogers.
Here’s what you need to know about the spouses of Kenny Rogers:
Rogers Called His Last Wife Wanda Miller His ‘Soulmate’
Kenny told Reuters of his fifth and final wife, Wanda Miller, “Wanda and I have been together now for 20 years, been married 15 years. She’s 28 years younger than me, and I say this from the bottom of my heart – she is my soul mate. She knows me better than anyone else has known me. She loves what I do and I’m not as insensitive to her needs as I may have been in the past.”
Kenny married Wanda in 1997, and they had twin sons together. She once wrote on her Instagram page in 2019, “We love you Kenny… Another blessed year.” She also wrote that year, “I Love these memories. Happy Anniversary KR.. 22 years and counting.”
The Independent reported that Rogers once said that at first he wasn’t sure he wanted to have more kids, but he changed his mind to please Wanda: “I did some soul-searching and realized it was unfair of me to take her childbearing years… So we went for it, and when I was told it was twins, man, I was thrilled.”
Kenny’s family took note of the coronavirus epidemic when announcing his funeral plans, writing, “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.”
Kenny Rogers’ Wife Number 1: Janice Gordon
Rogers’ first wife was named Janice Gordon. They weren’t married long, only from 1958 to 1960. Rogers had a daughter with Janice named Carole Lynne. However, the marriage was hampered by family pressures.
Kenny was only 19 years old when Janice became pregnant, and, in his memoir, he revealed that it happened the first time they had sex.
Read more about Carole here.
Kenny told Fox News of this relationship, “You know what? I loved her. At 19 I thought, ‘This is ok with me.’ That was a thing where her parents thought I’d ruined her life and were determined to break me. It didn’t work, and it’s really sad because I think it could have worked. You can’t say I’m afraid of commitment. I’ve been married five times!”
He told Fox he didn’t have contact with the child, and that was as the result of an agreement with Janice, who remarried. “I don’t, but that was my promise to them, that I would be her father but he (his ex-wife’s second husband) would be her Dad, and I don’t want to disrupt that. 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. He was a good guy,” Kenny told Fox.
Wife Number 2: Jean Rogers
Kenny’s second wife was Jean Rogers, to whom he was married from 1960 to 1963. They did not have children, and the marriage was short-lived.
He brought up his second marriage to the Independent, saying they both got bored. First he described his first marriage, then his second, saying, “But that lasted only two years because her mother didn’t believe in the marriage and came and took her away from me. Yet that’s when I realized I loved being married so I got married again, almost immediately. That only lasted three years because we finally realized, ‘This isn’t right’ – and in the end, it was boring for me and for her.”
Wife Number 3: Margo Anderson
Kenny’s third wife was Margo Anderson. They were married from 1964 to 1976. Rogers has a son named Kennedy with Margo.
Kenny said of his third wife, according to Independent, “So then I met this girl and that was a really exciting relationship, which lasted 12 years, and out of it we had a son. In fact, the first nine years were as good as it gets, and it was only the last few that got ugly. I was touring a lot and that is part of what killed the marriage.”
Kenny once admitted he was addicted to women, according to the Independent, which quoted him as saying, “…that was one of the reasons I became a musician at high school. To get the girls! Yet the other reason was that when I was 12 I went to see Ray Charles and I just loved the fact that everybody laughed at his jokes and clapped every time he sang. So I decided, ‘This is what I want to do in life’ – even though I didn’t even know if I could sing! But, seriously, as a singer Ray Charles came from such an honest place emotionally, and that is what I’ve always tried to do, sing about what people know and what people care about.”
Wife Number 4: Marianne Gordon
Kenny’s fourth wife was Marianne Gordon. They were married from 1977 to 1993. Rogers has a son named Christopher with Marianne.
Marianne ended up getting about $60 million in a divorce settlement that at the time landed Kenny on lists of the most expensive divorces in celebrity history, according to The Independent.
He explained to the Independent “But Marianne really did deserve the 60 million because she is a great girl and we had a perfect marriage for 15 years,” he says. “In fact, everything was fine until our son Christopher was born – but I wouldn’t want him to take any responsibility for this – because that’s when Marianne stopped touring with me and stayed home to take care of him, and then when I came home from touring or doing a tennis tournament, I found that our lifestyles were clashing. So one day we just said, ‘Life is short, we deserve to be happy, let’s find something else to do with our lives,’ and the marriage ended.”
In the 1990s, Kenny was famously accused of setting up a phone number so women could have phone sex with him.
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