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Country music legend Kenny Rogers has died at the age of 81.

He “passed away peacefully at home from natural causes”, a family representative said.

Kenny Rogers topped pop and country charts during the 1970s and 1980s, and won three Grammy awards.

Known for his husky voice and ballads including Lucille, The Gambler, and Coward Of The County, his career spanned more than six decades.

Kenny Rogers once summed up his popularity by explaining that he believed his songs “say what every man wants to say and that every woman wants to hear”.

After growing up in poverty on a federal housing estate in Houston, Texas, Kenny Rogers began recording with a string of bands before launching his solo career in 1976.

Kenny Rogers was never a favorite of music critics, but became one of the most successful pop-country crossover acts of all time, and the 10th best-selling male artist in US history in terms of album sales.

The musician collaborated with other country music legends during his career, including Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson.

Country Star Don Williams Dies Aged 78

In 2007, Kenny Rogers unexpectedly found himself back in the limelight in the UK when The Gambler became the unofficial World Cup anthem of England’s Rugby Team.

That same year, Kenny Rogers was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Country Music Association.

A keen businessman, the singer led several ventures over the years, mainly in property and the restaurant sector.

Kenny Rogers also acted in several movies and TV shows, including starring as a race car driver in the 1982 movie Six Pack.

The country music legend was married five times and had five children.


Dolly Parton has announced that her charity, Dollywood Foundation, will donate $1,000 a month to families affected by devastating wildfires in Tennessee.

The 70-year-old country music legend said she would provide help “until they get back up on their feet”.

“I’ve always believed that charity begins at home,” Dolly Parton said in a video statement.

According to authorities, at least seven people have been killed in the fires in Sevier County, Tennessee, and around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Dolly Parton’s foundation has set up a fund where people can donate to help victims of the fires.Dolly Parton cancer rumors denied

“I know it’s been a trying time for my people, and this assistance will help,” the singer said.

The wildfires came to the doorstep of Dollywood, Dolly Parton’s theme park in Pigeon Forge, Sevier County.

A spokesman said guests were evacuated from some of its properties, and that several cabins and holiday structures were damaged.

Around 45 people have been treated in hospital as a result of the wildfires, and over 700 buildings have been damaged.

Mandatory evacuations are under way around Gatlinburg, a city 7 miles southeast of Pigeon Forge.

Dolly Parton appeared in a public service advertisement on November 27, asking people nearby to take steps to avoid spreading the fire.

Later, the singer spoke of her misery at the toll the blazes had taken.

“I have been watching the terrible fires in the Great Smoky Mountains, and I am heartbroken.

“I am praying for all the families affected by the fire – and the firefighters who are working so hard to keep everyone safe,” Dolly Parton said.

Meanwhile, Miley Cyrus, also a Tennessee native, sent her sympathies and support to Dolly Parton and the people of the state in an Instagram post.

Sharing a picture of the pair performing together, Miley Cyrus wrote: “Love my fairy god mother @dollyparton and sending protective energy to the ever so sacred Dollywood and all of the homes/folks in TN who are experiencing this devastating fire!”

Dollywood will remain closed until 14:00 local time on December 2, while the Great Smoky Mountains – the most visited national park in the US – said it had closed all park facilities and many trails.

There is also concern for more than 10,000 animals at an aquarium in Gatlinburg, after all employees were evacuated.

The building is still standing, but “workers are anxious to return to check on the animals”, the general manager of Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, Ryan DeSears, told local media.

According to Tennessee’s Department of Agriculture, 26 active fires have burned nearly 12,000 acres across the state.

Facebook has activated its safety check feature.

Neighboring Georgia, as well as North and South Carolina, are also battling wildfires after months of drought.


At least seven deaths have been confirmed from a ferocious wildfire that erupted across Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park more than a week ago.

The search-and-rescue operations continue in the area.

The resort cities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee have suffered the majority of the damage.

More than four dozen people have been injured by the fire, and hundreds of buildings burned to their foundations.

According to authorities, the fire is about 10% contained and “could still rear its head”.

Over 14,000 people have been evacuated, and schools across the region have been closed.

Image source WMSV

Image source WMSV

As the flames die down in some areas, other risks to firefighters are becoming a greater threat, Gatlinburg’s fire chief says.

“A new challenge that the weather is creating for us after the fire is we are experiencing some small mudslides and rock slides because there’s no longer that foliage that’s holding everything together,” Chief Greg Miller said at a press conference.

Police raised the death toll to seven on November 30 after discovering three more bodies.

They did not provide any details regarding the circumstances of the deaths.

Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters told reporters: “We certainly want to pray for those families, the folks involved in the fatalities. We continue to try to identity them. We haven’t been able to yet.”

Officials in Gatlinburg hope to allow residents to return to the town on December 2, but for now the mandatory evacuation order remains in place.

Gatlinburg Mayor Mike Werner called for tourists to support the area by coming to visit the region which includes the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and draws more than 11 million people annually.

Dollywood, the resort owned by country music star Dolly Parton in the mountain town of Pigeon Forge, was largely spared, though the flames licked its doorstep.

There is a rain system currently moving through the area, but officials fear that not enough will fall to stem the spread of the fire, which has already burned for several weeks due to drought conditions.


Dolly Parton has denied the National Enquirer report that claimed she has stomach cancer.

The gossip publication published a story saying that the 69-year-old singer had been rushed to hospital.

In a statement on her website, Dolly Parton said: “There is absolutely no truth at all that I have stomach cancer.” Dolly Parton cancer rumors denied

“It is true that I had kidney stones,” she said.

“I had them removed three weeks ago and I am doing just fine!”

Dolly Parton added that she was already back at work following the operation.

“I am back to work and last week I was at Dollywood filming parts for my new movie Coat of Many Colors,” the singer wrote.

“I love and appreciate everyone’s concern.”

Fears for Dolly Parton’s health were sparked when Don Henley said she had overcome a “medical issue” to shoot a video with him in Los Angeles.

Speaking during an interview at the Americana Music Festival in September, The Eagles star said Dolly Parton had “got out of the hospital bed” to join him in the video for When I Stop Dreaming.


Dolly Parton has accepted an invitation to join a branch of the Rotary Club in the UK.

The country singer supports a children’s library in the seaside resort, in partnership with the Cleethorpes organization.

Dolly Parton has become an honorary member of the town’s branch of the charity, the first she has joined outside the US.

Former club president Rolf Sperr said the members were surprised when Dolly Parton agreed to join.Dolly Parton Rotary Club

“We wrote to her and we never actually expected this,” he said.

“All of a sudden we got an email saying Dolly accepted to be an honorary member of our club.

“We couldn’t believe it, to be really honest.”

Dolly Parton is behind a literacy scheme to encourage pre-school children to read.

One of her Imagination Libraries opened at Cleethorpes’ Little Stars Day Nursery, in March. Children at the nursery will be given a free book every month until they are five.

Almost 60 libraries have been set up across the UK under the scheme, since the first opened in Rotherham in 2007. The project recently handed out its millionth book.


Dolly Parton has announced she wants to adopt a dog that was left behind following the exodus of Glastonbury Festival 2014.

The white lurcher was discovered in one of the 5,000 tents discarded at Worthy Farm during a clean-up of the 1,200-acre festival site last week.

Dolly Parton has announced she wants to adopt a dog that was left behind following the exodus of Glastonbury Festival 2014

Dolly Parton has announced she wants to adopt a dog that was left behind following the exodus of Glastonbury Festival 2014

Taken in by the Happy Landings animal shelter, the dog was named Dolly after Dolly Parton stole the show with her debut performance at the event.

Dolly Parton, 68, said she would take it in if its owner was not found.

The shelter, which described the dog as a “sweet-natured older lady”, said it had received “many, many phone calls” but that it would not be re-homed “until we can ascertain whether she has an owner”.

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English band Kasabian has closed the 2014 Glastonbury Festival with a powerful, bombastic set that drew tens of thousands to the Pyramid Stage.

Kasabian covered Fatboy Slim’s Praise You and Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy, and paid tribute to soul legend Bobby Womack, who died this weekend.

“Ten years ago, we opened the Other Stage, when I was just 23,” said Tom Meighan.

“Thank you for this, Glastonbury. So much respect.”

The stage was lit in pink as the band took the stage shortly before 22:00 BST, launching into Bumblebee, the first song from their new album 48:13.

It was Kasabian’s first headline slot at Glastonbury, but lead singer Tom Meighan was an effective rabble rouser.

Kasabian, who have never taken themselves too seriously, brought comedian Noel Fielding onstage dressed as Vlad the Impaler during the song of the same name.

Kasabian has closed the 2014 Glastonbury Festival with a powerful, bombastic set that drew tens of thousands to the Pyramid Stage

Kasabian has closed the 2014 Glastonbury Festival with a powerful, bombastic set that drew tens of thousands to the Pyramid Stage

Tom Meighan also changed the song’s refrain to “Bobby Womack – see you on the other side” in respect of the late soul star, whose hit song Across 110th Street played on the PA before Kasabian took the stage.

Compared to the po-faced Metallica and the self-consciously quirky Arcade Fire, Kasabian appeared to be enjoying their headline slot.

In the event, Kasabian drew a slightly bigger audience (an estimated 100,000) than either of the other headliners – but not as big as Dolly Parton earlier on Sunday.

The final day of the Glastonbury festival opened with a performance from the English National Ballet, who paid tribute to those who died in World War One.

Their performance, Dust, was choreographed by Akram Khan, who helped put together the opening of the London 2012 Olympics with Danny Boyle.

Sombre but powerful, the performance moved some in the early morning audience to tears.

Other acts on the final day included Ed Sheeran, who played the Pyramid Stage unaccompanied, using his acoustic guitar and a series of effects pedals.

Despite breaking several strings along the way, Ed Sheeran was warmly welcomed by the crowd in the mid-afternoon heat.

On The Other Stage, Ellie Goulding delivered an energetic, full-throttle run-through of her biggest dance hits as the sun set, while Disclosure brought several special guest vocalists – including Eliza Doolitle, Sam Smith and Aluna Francis to their headline set at the West Holts stage.

Against the bombast of Kasabian, Glastonbury organizers had programmed some more mellow bands to aid the come-down at the end of the festival.

Massive Attack’s hushed version of Teardrops was a highlight on The Other Stage, while London Grammar’s lush, melancholy album If You Wait drew huge crowds to the John Peel Stage.

However, Dolly Parton was the star turn of the day, if not the festival.

Dolly Parton, 68, charmed the crowd with her ornery banter and diamante-studded hairpiece, and led lusty singalongs to hits such as 9 to 5, Jolene and I Will Always Love You.

The mud will be traded for traffic jams during Monday as the 175,000 revelers leave Worthy Farm and head back home.

Glastonbury festival organizer Michael Eavis has confirmed the event will be back next year, and that he’s already booked all three headliners.

Prince – widely rumored to top the bill this year – is still refusing to come to Somerset, but at least one of the bands will be coming from abroad.

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Dolly Parton took to the Pyramid Stage on day three of this year’s Glastonbury festival.

The country singer has drawn a huge crowd for her debut Glastonbury set, performing some of her biggest hits as thousands of fans chanted her name.

The audience was larger than that for Friday and Saturday’s headliners, Arcade Fire and Metallica.

Dolly Parton told the audience: “I’ve been waitin’ a long time for this.”

She sang tracks including Why D’You Come In Here Lookin’ Like That?, 9 to 5, Jolene and Coat of Many Colors.

Dolly Parton took to the Pyramid Stage on day three of this year’s Glastonbury festival

Dolly Parton took to the Pyramid Stage on day three of this year’s Glastonbury festival (photo Getty Images)

Dolly Parton said: “I’m just glad you came to see me.”

She also performed a song about the mud that she wrote in the early hours of Sunday morning, which included the lyrics: “Mud, mud, mud, mud/Up to our bums in all this crud.”

Dolly Parton, 68, wooed the crowd with lots of classics and her encore, I Will Always Love You.

The singer played for about an hour on the Pyramid Stage.

“I grew up in the country, so this mud ain’t nothing new to me – and it ain’t nothing to you either,” she said.

Before her show, Dolly Parton was presented with a special award in recognition of selling more than 100 million records worldwide. The singer said she would hang it in her Dollywood Museum in Tennessee.

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Dolly Parton has drawn a huge crowd for her Glastonbury debut.

Baby I’m Burnin’ / Girl on Fire

Why’d You Come In Here Lookin’ Like That


Blue Smoke

Coat of Many Colors

Rocky Top

Mud Song

Banks of the Ohio

Dolly Parton has drawn a huge crowd for her Glastonbury debut

Dolly Parton has drawn a huge crowd for her Glastonbury debut (photo PA)

Hits Medley

Here You Come Again

Two Doors Down

Islands In The Stream

9 to 5


Lay Your Hands on Me

I Will Always Love You

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Another 87 names have been added to this year’s Glastonbury Festival, including Kasabian, Jack White, Elbow and MIA.

The festival tweeted a link to a picture on its website, before Kasabian confirmed on their own Twitter feed that they are Sunday’s Pyramid Stage headliners and will close the festival.

The line-up also features Pixies, Jake Bugg, Robert Plant and James Blake.

Friday night headliners Arcade Fire and Dolly Parton were among those already confirmed to play the festival in June.

Other new acts announced include MGMT, Brian Ferry, Kelis, Metronomy and De La Soul.

Kasabian will headline the Pyramid Stage at this year’s Glastonbury Festival

Kasabian will headline the Pyramid Stage at this year’s Glastonbury Festival

Rudimental, Manic Street Preachers, London Grammar and Ed Sheeran are also set to play across more than 100 stages at the festival in Somerset from June 25 to June 29.

Saturday night’s Pyramid Stage headliner is still yet to be announced, although organizer Emily Eavis said there was definitely one in place.

“We’ve got it all booked, it was all confirmed a couple of weeks ago. We can’t give you that yet, just for contractual reasons, but it will be with you soon,” she said.

“The full lineup, the thousands and thousands of acts, will be with you in May,” Emily Eavis added.

“This is a few handpicked acts to give you a taster.”

Recently, acts such as Lana Del Rey and the Black Keys had confirmed their own appearances, joining Lily Allen, Disclosure, Blondie, Suzanne Vega and Warpaint on the bill.

In February, Dolly Parton said she was “incredibly excited” to be playing the Sunday afternoon “legend slot” on the Pyramid Stage, following last year’s appearance from her friend and contemporary Kenny Rogers.

White Stripes star Jack White is set to play an exclusive UK festival date at Glastonbury’s Pyramid stage.

Tickets for this year’s Glastonbury Festival sold out in just one hour and 27 minutes in October, despite “technical difficulties” with online ticketing site See Tickets.

Festival goers who have paid their deposit have until just before midnight on Monday, April 7, to pay their balance. Remaining tickets go on resale on April 24 for coach packages and April 27 for standard tickets.

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Dolly Parton will perform at this year’s Glastonbury Festival, the event organizer, Emily Eavis, has confirmed to BBC 6 Music.

Dolly Parton later told her three million followers the news via Twitter.

“I’m incredibly excited to FINALLY announce that the #BlueSmokeWorldTour is coming to @GlastoFest on June 29th! 😉 Stay tuned for more info…” the country singer wrote.

Dolly Parton will perform in Sunday afternoon’s renowned “legend slot” on the Pyramid Stage, which last year featured fellow country star Kenny Rogers.

Festival-goers enjoyed a mass singalong of Islands in the Stream – his hit duet recorded with Dolly Parton.

Dolly Parton will perform at this year's Glastonbury Festival

Dolly Parton will perform at this year’s Glastonbury Festival

Emily Eavis appeared to rule out rumored headline acts Prince, Stone Roses and Fleetwood Mac.

However, she did admit timings were still a work in progress.

Arcade Fire have already confirmed they are 2014’s Friday night headliners for the event.

The Canadian seven-piece revealed the news in December, tweeting a photo bearing the words “June 27 – Glastonbury”.

Lily Allen is among the other acts who have already let slip they will be performing, but Emily Eavis said the remaining headline acts would stay a closely guarded secret for now, and would “be with you in the spring.”

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Dolly Parton and Carl Dean will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary by renewing their vows in 2016.

The 67-year-old country singer has been married to Carl Dean since 1966 and she reveals they are eager to mark their relationship milestone with a huge party at their sprawling estate in Nashville, Tennessee.

Dolly Parton married Carl Thomas Dean on May 30, 1966

Dolly Parton married Carl Thomas Dean on May 30, 1966

Dolly Parton told Closer magazine: “We’ve talked about that [renewing vows] – we might do it all over again! Another big wedding. … [It will] probably be at our big old plantation home. We love it there.”


A female passenger was kicked off from an American Airlines plane after the pilot was forced to make an emergency landing as she refused to stop singing Whitney Houston’s hit song I Will Always Love You.

Her performance began shortly into the flight from Los Angeles to New York and her crooning quickly became too much for passengers and staff on the domestic flight last Thursday.

The pilot was forced to change course halfway through the six hour flight and make an unscheduled stop at Kansas City so officers could escort the woman from the plane.

Airport spokesman Joe McBride told WBTV: “The woman was being disruptive and was removed from the plane for interfering with the flight crew.

A female passenger was kicked off from an American Airlines plane after the pilot was forced to make an emergency landing as she refused to stop singing Whitney Houston's hit song I Will Always Love You

A female passenger was kicked off from an American Airlines plane after the pilot was forced to make an emergency landing as she refused to stop singing Whitney Houston’s hit song I Will Always Love You

“There was a federal air marshal on the aircraft, who subdued the woman and put her in cuffs and removed her from the plane.”

Despite staff telling passengers they could not take photographs while on board the aircraft, one managed to briefly film the woman being escorted down the aircraft’s aisle in handcuffs – still singing the 1990s pop song.

The woman was interviewed and later released without charge.

While the song she chose to entertain her fellow passengers with is best known for Whitney Houston’s cover in the film The Bodyguard, it was originally released by country singer-songwriter Dolly Parton in 1974.

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