Dolly Parton is mourning the loss of her duet partner and dear friend Kenny Rogers. Rogers, a country music icon known for "The Gambler," "Lucille," "She Believes in Me," "Coward of the County" and much more, passed away of natural causes at the age of 81 on March 20.
Parton shared a video on social media discussing her love for Rogers. The country legend said she learned of Rogers' death while watching the news to stay updated on the coronavirus crisis.
"I know that we all know that Kenny is in a better place than we are all today, but I'm pretty sure he's gonna be talking to God if he ain't already and he's gonna be asking him to spread some light on all this darkness here. I loved Kenny with all my heart and my heart's broken and a big ol' chunk is gone with him today," Parton said. I think I can speak for all his family, his friends and fans when I say 'I will always love you.'"
Parton held up a picture of her with her longtime friend and duet partner and said, through tears, "God bless you Kenny. Fly high, straight to the arms of God. And to the rest of you: keep the faith."
You never know how much you love somebody until they’re gone. I’ve had so many wonderful years and wonderful times with my friend Kenny, but above all the music and the success I loved him as a wonderful man and a true friend. pic.twitter.com/hIQLIvt8pr
— Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) March 21, 2020
Parton and Rogers recorded a string of hits throughout the '80s, including "Real Love," and the classic 1983 duet "Islands in the Stream."
In 2017, the Country Music Hall of Fame members reunited for "You Can't Make Old Friends," featured on Rogers' 2013 album of the same name.
Several country stars mourned the loss of Rogers on social media.
"I can't express on twitter the impact Kenny Rogers the artist and the man had on me," Blake Shelton wrote. "He was always very kind and fun to be around. Rest In Peace Gambler..."
I can’t express on twitter the impact Kenny Rogers the artist and the man had on me. He was always very kind and fun to be around. Rest In Peace Gambler...
— Blake Shelton (@blakeshelton) March 21, 2020
"Kenny, Go rest high on that mountain," Reba McEntire wrote. "Please tell mama and daddy hi for me. Thank you for your friendship and your love. We are going to miss you but we are so happy you're singing with the angels in heaven. Can't wait to see you again one of these days. Rest in peace my friend."
Kenny, Go rest high on that mountain. Please tell mama and daddy hi for me. Thank you for your friendship and your love. We are going to miss you but we are so happy you’re singing with the Angels in heaven. Can’t wait to see you again one of these days. Rest in peace my friend. pic.twitter.com/hCNtBayZ8i
— Reba (@reba) March 21, 2020