Dolly Parton Kenny Rogers song
Source: Screenshot, YouTube

It’s been over two years since the legendary country music star Kenny Rogers passed away, but he is still missed by millions of fans to this day. In a newly surfaced interview with Rogers himself, it’s been revealed that the iconic Dolly Parton once saved him from passing on one of his biggest hits.

‘What We Need Is Dolly Parton’

Taste Of Country reported that Rogers initially gave up on the country duet “Islands In The Stream” in 1983, telling songwriter Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees, “I don’t even like this song anymore.”

“What we need is Dolly Parton,” Gibb replied.

“And my manager said, ‘I just saw her downstairs,'” Rogers recalled. “So I said, ‘Go get her and bring her back.'” 

Though Rogers and Parton had met before, they were not friends yet at the time. 

 “So he brought her back in, and once she came in, that song was never the same,” Rogers remembered. “She lit it up and we became good friends from that point on.”

Watch Rogers and Parton perform this song in the video below. 

Related: Dolly Parton And Kenny Rogers Describe The ‘Tension’ Between Them And Why They ‘Never Went There’

Song Becomes A Hit

“Island In The Stream” became a massive success, hitting No. 1 on Nov. 2, and landing at the top of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs, mainstream Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts. The song earned a Gold single on Oct. 18, 1983, and would go on to be certified Platinum in multiple countries.

Rogers and Parton collaborated a few more times in the years to come, making a Christmas album together, and releasing another duet, “Real Love,” in 1985. In 2013, they teamed up once again for “You Can’t Make Old Friends,” which was the title track of Rogers’ 27th studio album.

Back in 2017, Rogers talked about his “great” friendship with Parton.

 “It’s been great, the thing about Dolly is unless you make her mad and I’ve never done that. She always, everything she says comes from love, so you have to take it that way,” he said at the time. “She can say the most bizarre things and she does and if you remember that it came from love you can’t be upset.”

Check out his full comments on that in the video below.

Related: Dolly Parton Sings Touching Tribute To Kenny Rogers While Quarantining From Coronavirus

Parton Mourns Rogers

After Rogers passed away in March of 2020 at the age of 81, Parton took to social media to post an emotional tribute to him. 

“You never know how much you love somebody until they’re gone,” she said at the time. “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. So you be safe with God and just know that I will always love you, Dolly.”


‘My Heart’s Broken’

“Well, I couldn’t believe it. This morning when I got up and turned on the TV… they told me that my friend and singing-partner Kenny Rogers had passed away,” Parton said in the video accompanying that caption.

“And I know that we all know Kenny is in a better place than we are today, but I’m for sure, he’s going to be talking to God sometime today if he ain’t already,” she added. “He’s going to be asking him to spread some light on a bunch of this darkness going on here.”

Parton concluded by saying she loved “Kenny with all my heart. My heart’s broken and a whole chunk of it has gone with him today. And I think, I can speak for all his family, friends, and fans when I say that I will always love you.”

Thankfully, we will always have songs like “Islands In The Stream” to remember the beautiful friendship that Parton and Rogers shared.

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