Kenny Rogers is staring death in the eye — and sources have told The National ENQUIRER the reclusive 80-year-old country legend is bravely preparing for the end just a year after bladder cancer forced him to retire.
Now Rogers — who has been crippled with pain and has not appeared in public since 2018 — has moved into a remote Georgia community and is selling off his assets, saying his final farewells and planning his own funeral, sources said.
“He’s a lot sicker than he’s ever let on to the public — or even to his friends,” said a pal of the family. One of the toughest goodbyes for the cancer-ravaged icon was his final phone call to the woman he has always loved: his soulmate and “Islands in the Stream” collaborator Dolly Parton, sources said.
Dolly knew things had to be really bad when her longtime friend refused to visit her at her home in Nashville. “Dolly begged him to join her to try to write some songs,” said an insider. But even a short drive was too much for him. “He literally could no longer stand for more than a few minutes at a time!” added the insider.
Sources said a 25-year battle with hepatitis C left The Gambler with liver disease, paralyzing back pain and other agonizing problems — now medical experts and friends believe the end is near.
“He was reputed to have bladder cancer and there have been questions raised that he might have lung cancer and, as a diabetic, has a high risk for heart failure and dementia,” said Dr. Gabriel Mirkin, who has not treated Kenny.
Neighbors had previously reported the singer appeared “disoriented or lost, with the ongoing issue of him wandering the neighborhood at night” and trying to get into other people’s homes. One neighbor who visited Kenny’s home said the house “reeked — it smelled like something was rotting, and there was medical equipment everywhere,” including oxygen tanks. “The oxygen tanks are a result of heart failure or lung cancer,” said Dr. Mirkin.
“Kenny has always tried to take the best, most optimistic approach to his health problems and not complain about what he’s going through,” said a source. “But since he’s gone AWOL and even his close friends aren’t hearing from him, you just fear the worst, that he’s decided to live out his final days with just his family at his side.”
The “Lady” singer, who has sold more than 200 million albums, has not been seen since he canceled the final few dates of his Gambler’s Farewell Tour in April 2018.
As his body deteriorates, Kenny has bravely tried to wrap up the loose ends of his extraordinary life — such as signing over his $1.3 million home to his wife, Wanda Miller.
“He just wants to stay alive long enough to see his 14-year-old twin boys, Justin and Jordan, graduate from high school,” a source confided.