Dolly Parton, a longtime friend and collaborator with singer Kenny Rogers, said on Saturday that she was heartbroken to find out he had died Friday.
Rogers was 81.
“I think I can speak for all his family, his friends and fans, when I say that I will always love you,” Parton said on a video posted on Twitter.
Rogers, who died of natural causes, was a prominent country-pop music hitmaker, known for crossover blockbusters such as “The Gambler” and “Lady.”
“I know that we all know Kenny is in a better place than we are today, but I’m pretty sure he’s going to be talking to God sometime today, if he ain’t already, and he’s going to ask him to spread some light on a bunch of this darkness going on here,” Parton said in her video. Parton duetted with Rogers on songs including “Islands in the Stream” and “You Can’t Make Old Friends.”
Other celebrities and fans on Twitter honored Rogers’ musical legacy.
Thank you Kenny Rogers for being a part of our lives for so long. Your songs are woven into the fabric of our memories, classics, that will live on in the musical heart of a world that will miss you so much.— Charlie Daniels (@CharlieDaniels) March 21, 2020
Rest in peace Gambler
Kenny Rogers had a voice and spirit that brought a sense of harmony to the world. He was that island in the stream. At a time when the waters churn, he will be especially missed. RIP.— Dan Rather (@DanRather) March 21, 2020
So saddened by the news on #KennyRogers this #SaturdayMorning. He was an incredible singer I was just playing his songs 2days ago. A family favourite we played his music constantly. #SheBelievesInMe Through the years #CowardoftheCountry #Lady #SweetMusicMan #RIP🙏 #latoyajackson pic.twitter.com/GnzYRX0nWw— La Toya Jackson (@latoyajackson) March 21, 2020
We are deeply saddened by the passing of music icon Kenny Rogers. He has made a lasting impression on the country music community and the Warner Music Nashville family, and his songs will still be sung for generations to come. You will be deeply missed. pic.twitter.com/RYTWZI6thZ— Warner Music Nashville (@WarnerMusicNash) March 21, 2020
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
I had the huge honor of producing songs with this American Giant. He was kind, funny and one of the greatest conveyers of a lyric in the history of music. The world will miss you forever. Thank you for the decades of incredible music! You define a generation. #RIPKennyRogers pic.twitter.com/zoi699yeFx— John Rich (@johnrich) March 21, 2020
I pause to acknowledge the passing of one of the greatest singer & performer of our time, Kenny Rogers. Like many Jamaicans, I grew up listening to his “story telling to music” country and western hits in the 70s and 80s. My favorite was “The Coward of the County” and “Gambler”. pic.twitter.com/XKolKsJsTu— Andrew Holness (@AndrewHolnessJM) March 21, 2020