“You never know how much you love somebody until they’re gone,” Parton wrote. “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.”
Parton also shared a minute-long video Saturday where she remembered Rogers, who sang alongside Parton on the chart-topping 1983 single “Islands in the Stream.” The singers recorded numerous duets over the ensuing decades, most recently 2013’s “You Can’t Make New Friends.” The pair last sang together at Rogers’ 2017 farewell concert.
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
“Well, I couldn’t believe it this morning when I got up and turned on the TV, checking to see what the coronavirus was doing, and they told me that my friend and singing partner Kenny Rogers had passed away,” Parton said in the video.
“I know that we all know that Kenny is in a better place than we are today. And I’m pretty sure he’s gonna be talking to God sometime today – if he ain’t already – and he’s gonna be asking him to spread some light on bunch of this darkness going on here. But I loved Kenny with all my heart, my heart’s broken, and a big ol’ chunk of it has gone with him today.”
Parton added, “I think that I could speak for all his family, friends and fans when I say I will always love you.”