Dolly Parton paid an emotional tribute to her friend Kenny Rogers during the “CMT GIANT Kenny Rogers: A Benefit for MusiCares” special Wednesday.
Parton sang a stunning version of Rogers’ 1977 track “Sweet Music Man”, accompanied by an acoustic guitar and an array of candles to add to the sombre mood.
Rogers passed away on March 20 at age 81.
Parton, who duetted with Rogers on the 1983 single “Islands in the Stream” and again on the 1985 track “Real Love”, previously shared a touching tribute to the singer on Instagram.
She said in a video clip, “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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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.