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The AJC reports the loss of the legend:

Kenny Rogers, the genial country singer as beloved for being “The Gambler” as he was a movie star and restaurant entrepreneur, died late Friday night at the age of 81.

Rogers’ spokesperson confirmed to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the hitmaker passed away from natural causes at his Sandy Springs home.

About 25 years ago, I met Rogers in Athens and had a short conversation with him. Beyond the talents, musical and culinary, he was just a nice man. There remain not that many more of his kind.