Fact Check

Did Kenny Rogers Donate Half His Estate to Help Trump's Reelection?

A routine review of content labeled satire.

Published March 24, 2020

NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 08:  (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Kenny Rogers performs during the 2017 CMA Music Festival on June 8, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Erika Goldring/FilmMagic) (Erika Goldring/FilmMagic)
Image courtesy of Erika Goldring/FilmMagic
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Musician Kenny Rogers donated half his estate to U.S. President Donald Trump's reelection campaign.

On March 21, 2020, the website Taters Gonna Tate published an article positing that the late musician Kenny Rogers had donated half of his estate to help U.S. President Donald Trump's 2020 reelection bid:

Kenny Rogers’ Wife Donates Half His Estate To Trump’s Re-Election: ‘It’s What He Would Have Wanted’

“I love what he says, I have to admit.” That was what Kenny Rogers had to say about Donald Trump in 2015. Today, as the world mourns the loss of one of the greatest performers of all time, that sentiment will be shared in dollars. According to Sandy Batt, spokesperson for Kenny’s wife, Dominique Tubolls Rogers, Kenny’s estate will be split between his family — and Trump 2020:

This item was not a factual recounting of real-life events. The article originated with a website that describes its output as being humorous or satirical in nature, as follows:

Everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined. Any similarities between this site’s pure fantasy and actual people, places, and events are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and satirical. See above if you’re still having an issue with that satire thing.

This bit of satire may have proven to be plausible for some readers for two reasons. First, Rogers truly did pass away on March 21, 2020.  The news was announced on the musician's official Twitter account:

Second, Rogers was a fan of Trump. In a 2015 interview with The Guardian, Rogers said: "I really like [Trump]. I think his problem is that he says what everyone wants to hear, but he doesn’t say it well. I love what he says, I have to admit."

While Rogers may have liked Trump, he did not donate half of his estate to help the president's 2020 reelection bid. That false rumor originated with a satire article.

For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.

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Taters Gonna Tate.     "Kenny Rogers’ Wife Donates Half His Estate To Trump’s Re-Election: ‘It’s What He Would Have Wanted.'"     21 March 2020.

Maxouris, Christina and Atla Spells.   "Legendary Country Singer Kenny Rogers Dies at 81'"     CNN.   21 March 2020.

McMammon, Michele.   "Kenny Rogers on Donald Trump: 'I Love What He Says, I Have To Admit.'"     The Guardian.   21 December 2015.