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6 April 2020, 16:25
Country music stars rallied together online to pay tribute to the late Kenny Rogers.
Singer Kenny died of natural causes last month aged 81, but his family and fellow artists have not been able to hold concerts or memorials in his honour due to the coronavirus pandemic restrictions.
However, county trio Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker teamed up online to honour Kenny with a special performance of three of the singer’s hits, including ‘Lucille’, ‘The Gambler’ and ‘Coward of the Country’ during ACM Presents: Our Country TV Special.
Ending the performance, Darius said: “We miss you, Kenny Rogers,” as Brad replied “We sure do.”
Bryan added: “We love you, Kenny. Thank you so much for all of your musical contributions.”
Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker - Lucille / The Gambler (From ACM Presents: Our Country)
Fellow artist Lionel Richie also shared a heartfelt message, along with a collection of touching photos of the pair together over the years.
Taking to his Instagram, 70-year-old Lionel wrote: “I lost one of my closest friends.
“So much laughter so many adventures to remember, my heart is broken. My prayers go out to Kenny’s Family.”
Lionel wrote Kenny’s hit single ‘Lady’ in 1980, and the pair remained close friends ever since.
Dolly Parton also paid tribute to her friend in a teary video shared on her social media.
Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton Sing Islands In The Stream
Devastated by the news, 74-year-old Dolly said: “I couldn’t believe it when I got up this morning and turned on the TV, checking to see what the coronavirus was doing, and it told me that my friend and singing partner Kenny Rogers had passed away.
“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 sometime today if he ain’t already, he’s gonna be asking him to spread some light on bunch of this darkness going here.
“But I love Kenny with all my heart. My heart’s broken and a big old chunk of it has gone with him today. ‘And I think that I can speak for all his family, his friends and fans when I say that I will always love you. God bless you, Kenny, fly high. Straight to the arms of God and to the rest of you, keep the faith.”