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Kenny Rogers' widow recalls him encouraging her to find someone after he was gone

Wanda Rogers said the late country music star, who died in 2020, would be happy she's found love again.
/ Source: TODAY

Wanda Rogers, the widow of country music legend Kenny Rogers, has found love again.

Wanda Rogers opened up about her private life to People, revealing that before he died the "Gambler" singer once urged her to have a romantic partner again after he was gone.

“He said, ‘I’m not going to be here forever. I want you to be happy,’” Wanda Rogers, 56, told People. “‘You’re young. I want you to have a full life past me.' And of course I was like, ‘What? I don’t want to talk about that. Turn the TV back on.’”

Kenny Rogers and wife Wanda Miller
Kenny Rogers' widow, Wanda, said the late country music star, who died in 2020, would be happy she's found love again. Anna Webber / Getty Images

Kenny Rogers died at home from natural causes in March 2020 at 81.

Wanda Rogers said her late husband not only wanted to know she'd one day be happy again, he also wanted the couple's twin sons, Justin and Jordan, who graduated from high school last month, to learn that it's OK to move on after loved ones die.

"One of the big things is to show the boys that life goes on. And it does — I’m dating someone very special,” she said. “Kenny gave me his very best and he wanted me to move on and be happy. That’s a really big man to be able to say those words and mean it. I think it just shows the kind of guy he was.”

Wanda Rogers met the "Lady" singer in 1993 when he took a blind date to the Atlanta restaurant where she worked as a hostess. They tied the knot in 1997.

Wanda Rogers told People that she and her current partner met through a friend of her late husband's who once dated her sister.

She said she admires in her new beau many of the same qualities she admired in Kenny Rogers, including his “leadership and his positive energy.”

“It’s been big shoes to step into after I was with this icon for all these years in a very special relationship. But it’s really been an easy relationship," she explained.