Kenny Rogers was honored on Wednesday night with a star-studded virtual memorial concert airing on Country Music Television. Among the performers was Rogers’ close friend and collaborator, Dolly Parton, who covered his 1977 song “Sweet Music Man”. Watch the emotional performance below.
Parton previously paid tribute to Rogers in a video posted in the immediately aftermath of his death last month. “I know that we all know that Kenny is in a better place than we are today and I’m pretty sure that he’s going to be talking to God sometime today… and he’s going to be asking him to spread some light on a bunch of this darkness,” Parton said during her tribute. “I loved Kenny with all my heart. My heart’s broken. A big ol’ chunk of it has gone with him today.”
Parton collaborated with Rogers on several songs, including the No. 1 hit “Islands in the Stream”. The pair also shared the stage together on multiple occasions, including at Rogers’ farewell concert in Nashville in October 2017.
CMT Giants Kenny Rogers: A Benefit for MusiCares also featured performances from Michael McDonald, Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell, Lionel Richie, Rascal Flatts, Lady Antebellum, and more. A full rebroadcast will air on YouTube beginning Thursday night at 8:00 p.m. EDT. Proceeds from the concert benefit MusiCares’ COVID-19 Relief Fund.
Rogers passed away peacefully at his home on March 21st from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family.