Country icon Kenny Rogers died from natural causes on Friday, March 20 at age 81, his family shared in a statement. The singer was "under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family" when he passed away.
Rogers began his career in the 1950s and went on to sell over 100 million records worldwide and earn 24 No. 1 hits. He was awarded multiple Grammys, ACM and CMA Awards and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013, among other honors. He recorded a number of hits including "The Gambler," "Lucille," and "Islands in the Stream," a duet with his good friend Dolly Parton that became one of his most well-known songs.
After Rogers' death, fans began remembering the star with social media posts referencing the iconic duet.
OH,”ISLANDS IN THE STREAM”— Cher (@cher) March 21, 2020
He Was a BRILLIANT SINGER💔
The quality of his voice is rare,
I have always loved Kenny Rogers music, I suspect I will be listening to a lot more of it this weekend. RIP Kenny Rogers. 💔Islands in the Stream and the Gambler are two of my favourite ever tracks. #RIPKennyRogers— Michelle (@Glastomichelle) March 21, 2020
“Islands in The Stream” stays in rotation for me to this day. Growing up people would always look at me a little crazy when they saw this little black girl belting out Kenny Rogers. I loved his music my entire life. Your voice will be missed. #ripkenny 🙏🏽 https://t.co/HAL1783Bky— Nischelle Turner (@nischelleturner) March 21, 2020
It’s time to unite as a nation and sing islands in the stream from our apartment windows to properly honor Kenny in this time of adversity— Lacy Pitts (@lacympitts) March 21, 2020
Several shared videos of Rogers and Parton performing the track.
Islands in the stream, that is what we are, no one in between
This is a tough one. Rest In Peace Mr. Kenny Rogers❤️pic.twitter.com/JnGAQRERc0— Quotin Country (@QuotinCountry_) March 21, 2020
"Islands in the Stream" was released in August 1983 as the first single from Rogers' album Eyes That See in the Dark. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart as well as the Country and Adult Contemporary charts and has been certified Platinum. The song was written by the Bee Gees and was originally written for Marvin Gaye before being recorded by Rogers and Parton.
In addition to "Islands in the Stream," Rogers and Parton also recorded the 1984 Christmas album Once Upon a Christmas and the 1985 duet "Real Love."
After Rogers' death, Parton shared a video on social media remembering her friend. "I loved Kenny with all my heart," she said. "My heart's broken and a big old chunk of it has gone with him today. I think that I can speak for all his family, his friends and fans when I say that I will always love you."
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
"So you be safe with God and just know that I will always love you, dolly," she added in a second message.
Photo Credit: Getty / ABC Photo Archives