In the wake of Kenny Rogers' passing, many across the entertainment industry have expressed their gratitude for the connection they had with the country music icon. News of his death came on Saturday. He was 81 at the time of his passing. Among those who shared a heartfelt message on social media was MadTV impersonator, Will Sasso. Sasso performed as Rogers in a series of wild skits for the sketch comedy show, including one where he imagined a version of Jackass that starred the singer.
In his post, Sasso recalled a moment in fourth grade where he did a lip sync to Rogers' "Islands in the Streams." This was similar to a tribute put out by Tim McGraw. The country superstar shared a childhood memory he had of Rogers when his mother made him wait in lines for tickets to one of his concerts.
I've loved Kenny Rogers since doing a lip sync to "Islands in the Stream" in the 4th grade. His songs are all beautiful stories. Hey kids, listen to the lyrics of "The Gambler," it's timeless advice. Glad to hear he passed peacefully, surrounded by family. https://t.co/9RzBOuavM0— Will Sasso (@WillSasso) March 21, 2020
Perhaps the most heartbreaking message in the wake of Rogers' death was the video put together by Dolly Parton. The two had been duet partners and had a deep connection that was built throughout their respective careers. Parton appeared on the aforementioned "Islands in the Streams" that Sasso referenced in his tweet.
"I loved Kenny with all my heart," she said. "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."
She also wrote in a tweet that accompanied the video that "you never know how much you love somebody until they're gone."
Another entertainer who spent time performing and working with the "The Gambler" singer was Lionel Richie. The American Idol judge, too, had an heart-wrenching tribute for Rogers. Richie had famously wrote "Lady" for Rogers.
"Today I lost one of my closest friends," Richie wrote. "So much laughter so many adventures to remember, my heart is broken... My prayers go out to Kenny's Family."
Rogers leaves behind five children. He also was married five times but only had kids in four of those relationships. His wife at the time of his passing was Wanda Miller, who he walked down the aisle with in 1997. They had twin boys.