Kenny Rogers died on March 20 at the age of 81, and longtime friend Dolly Parton pondered the singer’s death during a virtual appearance on Today on Thursday April 2. Rogers and Parton had been friends for years and recorded several duets together, including the hit “Islands in the Stream.” “
“Kenny and I have been friends for so many years. We just connected, you know how there are people that you feel like you have known all your life, ”she told Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager from her home in Nashville. “We knew each other so well, both crazy and silly, we have a warm sense of humor, so we had a lot of fun together. Our voices mixed really well and we had the same outlook on life and things, so we just traveled around the world like we have done for so many years, we have become very, very close. “
“When Kenny died, it took me by surprise,” said Parton. “I knew he was not well, but it was just like, I lost someone so close to me, it broke my heart. It just shocked me and I was very moved about it for several days, and now I kind of put it in a peaceful place, knowing that it is at peace. My words and my love go to his children and to Wanda, his wife and all his fans. I will always miss him, but I will always cherish what we had together. “
Parton first opened up about Rogers’ death in a video she shared on social media on March 21.
“I know we all know Kenny in a better place than today, but I’m sure he will speak to God later today, if he isn’t already, and he will ask to shed light on this continuing darkness here, “she said. “I loved Kenny with all my heart and my heart is broken. “
“You never know how much you love someone until they are gone,” says the caption. “I have had so many wonderful years and wonderful moments with my friend Kenny, but especially the music and the success that I loved him as a wonderful man and a true friend. So be safe with God and just know that I will always love you, dolly. ”
Photo credit: Jim Steinfeldt / Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images