Dolly Parton Is ‘Thrilled’ To Honor Kenny Rogers in New Tribute Concert Special

by Keeli Parkey
(Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

If you’re a fan of the late country music star Kenny Rogers, you don’t want to miss out on an upcoming tribute concert special. Dolly Parton, one of his most famous fans, is very excited to be involved in the event.

The 75-year-old singer and songwriter shared her excitement to honor her former singing partner on social media on Wednesday, Sept. 8. “I am so thrilled to honor the memory of one of my favorite people, @_KennyRogers,” the Jolene singer said.

Dolly Parton also told her fans when and where they can watch this tribute to Rogers. According to Parton, the concert will air on Thursday, Sept. 23, on CBS. The festivities will begin at 9 p.m. (Eastern). The event has been titled, “Kenny Rogers: All In for the Gambler.” Of course, the title is a reference to one of his most famous songs. That, of course, is “The Gambler.”

Rogers passed away in 2020 at the age of 81. He and Dolly Parton famously collaborated on the hit duet, “Islands in the Stream.”

In addition to their musical collaborations, Rogers and Parton were also friends. They shared a lot in common, including the circumstances of their childhoods. “He, like me, was brought up very poor. We understood that world, and how much we wanted things,” Dolly Parton said according to Biography.

Their collaboration on “Island in the Stream” took place in 1983. Rogers was recording the song in Los Angeles, but was not happy with how it was going. Luckily, Dolly Parton was also in Los Angeles at the time. So, she was asked to come record with Rogers. It took her less than an hour to get to the studio. The rest, as they say, is history.

Singing ‘Islands in the Stream’ Began the Friendship Between Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers

It was their collaboration on “Island in the Stream” that began the decades-long friendship between Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. “Since the day she walked into the room to do ‘Islands in the Stream’ we have had, I think, a very special relationship,” Rogers said.

“You never really know where you’re gonna run across somebody that’s just gonna be partners for life,” Parton also said about her friendship with the Gambler. No wonder she is so excited to take part in a tribute concert dedicated to him.

The “Here You Come Again” singer also recounted some of the fun she and Rogers had over the years. “I was always such a feisty little thing and I was always doing stuff backstage or onstage. You know, pinch him on the butt or whatever,” Parton also shared.

Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers performed together for the final time in 2017. On that October night, they sang “Islands in the Stream.” They also performed “You Can’t Make Old Friends.”

Also, Parton isn’t the only star who will be featured in the “Kenny Rogers: All In for the Gambler” event. Others include Reba McEntire, Chris Stapleton, Little Big Town, Lady A, Lionel Ritchie, and Idina Menzel.