Dolly Parton honored her longtime friend and frequent musical collaborator Kenny Rogers with a touching performance of his iconic song “Sweet Music Man” during Wednesday’s CMT Giants Kenny Rogers: A Benefit for MusiCares.
Seated on a stool with candles surrounding her, Parton delivered an emotional rendition of the song.
Parton and Rogers have a long history and she, like many country music artists, were deeply sadden by Rogers’ passing. Upon his death, Parton shared a special video message in his honor.
“I loved Kenny with all my heart. My heart is broken. A big ‘ole chunk of it has gone with him today,” she said. “I think that I can speak for all his family, his friends and fans when I say that I will always love you.”
Rogers’ died of natural causes on Friday, March 20 at the age of 81.
The CMT Giants Kenny Rogers: A Benefit for MusiCares also included performances by Jennifer Nettles, Randy Houser, Dolly Parton and more. The broadcast also included rare photos, interviews and performances, with clips and commentary from Kenny Rogers himself.