The country music legend, Kenny Rogers, died of natural causes Friday night at the age of 81. Family and friends remember him as the beloved country music legend responsible for hits like “The Gambler,” “We’ve Got Tonight” and the famous duet with Dolly Parton, “Islands in the Stream.”

Parton remembered Rogers tweeting, “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.”

She also held up a picture of herself and Rogers in a video she posted saying, “I know you are as sad as I am. But God bless you Kenny, fly high in to the arms of God.”


Others paying tribute included, Blake Shelton, Lionel Richie and Reba McEntire.

In a Twitter post, McEntire wrote, “Thank you for your friendship and your love. We are going to miss you but we are so happy you’re singing with the Angels in heaven. Can’t wait to see you again one of these days. Rest in peace my friend.”

The country music star announced his retirement in 2015.

“I’ve been so lucky to have enjoyed such a long career and to have such amazing support from my fans and all who have helped me along the way, but there comes a time when I need to focus on spending time with my family,” he said.

“My life is about my wife and my 11-year-old twin boys right now. There are a lot of things I want to do together with them to create some special memories. I don’t have a bucket list of my own … I have a bucket list of things I want to do with them.”

Rogers’ family plans a private service in an effort to practice social distancing during the coronavirus outbreak. They will celebrate his life publicly with his friends and fans at a later date, his publicist announced.

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