When her dear friend Kenny Rogers sadly passed away on March 20 at the age of 81, Dolly Parton was devastated from the loss.
During Wednesday night’s CMT Giants memorial concert special that honored Kenny Rogers, Dolly paid a special tribute in the best way she knows how.
Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton famously duetted together on the 1983 single “Islands in the Stream,” and did it again on the 1985 track “Real Love.”
After Dolly found out the news of his passing, she posted a touching Instagram video in his memory, saying:
“I know that we all know Kenny is in a better place than we are today. But, I’m pretty sure he’s gonna be talking to God sometime today if he ain’t already. He’s going to be asking him to spread some light on a bunch of this darkness going on here.
I loved Kenny with all my heart and, and my heart is broken, and a big old chunk of it has gone with him today. I think I can speak for all his family, his friends, and fans when I say that I will always love you.”
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Dolly captioned her Instagram post with yet another sentimental tribute:
“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.
So you be safe with God and just know that I will always love you, dolly.”
Although Dolly’s Instagram post was already more than enough, she decided to take things a step further, giving a special performance in honor of Kenny Rogers during the CMT Giants memorial concert special.
Other celebrities joined in, including Gavin DeGraw, Lady Antebellum, Lionel Richie, Rascal Flatts, Jennifer Nettles, Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires, Randy Houser, and Michael McDonald.
The special featured special interviews with Roger’s friends and the people he inspired throughout his career. It also showed rare footage and rare archival photos that highlighted his career.
As for Dolly, she sat alone surrounded with a circle of candles, singing “Sweet Music Man,” accompanied only by her acoustic guitar, and boy, is it sweet.
You can watch the video of Dolly Parton’s performance here:
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