Kenny Rogers Dead: Dolly Parton Speaks out on 'Islands in the Stream' Duet Partner's Passing

The country music world is currently mourning the loss of an icon. In the early morning hours on Saturday, it was reported that Kenny Rogers had died at the age of 81. According to a statement from the singer's family, Rogers died of natural causes and was surrounded by his family at the time of his passing. In response to this news, Rogers' duet partner, Dolly Parton, has released a statement about her dear friend's passing via social media.

"You never know how much you love somebody until they’re gone," Parton's message read. "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." Parton also posted a short clip alongside her message in which she further spoke out about the loss of her friend and "Islands in the Stream" duet partner.

"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," she began in the video. "And I know that we all know Kenny's in a better place than we are today. But, I'm pretty sure he's gonna be talking to God some time today if he ain't already and he's gonna be asking him to spread some light in light 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," she continued. "And I think that I can speak for all his family, his friends, and fans when I say that I will always love you."

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In the clip, Parton can then be seen holding up a photograph of herself and Rogers during one of their moments together.

"Just happened to have this picture when I walked out this morning of us," she said through tears. "And I walked out and said, 'Well, maybe I'll hold that up to everybody.' So, I know you're sad as I am. God bless you, Kenny. Fly high straight to the arms of God. And to the rest of you, keep the faith."