WATCH: Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton Share the Stage for Final Performance of ‘Islands In The Stream’

They say all good things come to an end and that’s certainly rings true for Kenny Rogers‘ and Dolly Parton‘s…

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Lauren Jo Black

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September 23, 2021

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Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton; Photo Courtesy CBS

They say all good things come to an end and that’s certainly rings true for Kenny Rogers‘ and Dolly Parton‘s iconic musical partnership. 

In 2017, the country music icons bid farewell to sharing the stage together during a star-studded concert event in honor of Rogers’ retirement from touring. 

During the show, Rogers and Parton took the stage for the final performance of their legendary duet, “Islands In The Stream.”

Released in 1983, “Islands in the Stream” was originally written by the Bee Gees (Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb) for Marvin Gaye. 

After the release of the Rogers and Parton version, the track reached No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100, marking the artists’ second No.1 hit at pop radio. The song also reached the top spot at country radio and adult contemporary radio. 

YouTube video

Upon Rogers’ death in 2020, Parton took to social media to pay her respects to Rogers. 

“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.”

Kenny Rogers: All In For The Gambler also featured tribute performances from Chris Stapleton, Idina Menzel, Lady A, Lionel Richie, Little Big Town and Reba McEntire, who took the stage to perform some of Rogers’ greatest hits, such as “The Gambler,” “Lady,” “She Believes in Me,” “Through the Years,” “Lucille,” “We’ve Got Tonight” and more.

Produced by Blackbird Presents, the two-hour, concert special was filmed in 2017 in honor of his retirement and honored the life and legacy of the late country music legend, who passed away in 2020. Rogers was 81 at the time of his death.

“Kenny Rogers’ enormous impact on country music was matched only by the love all the artists and fans showed Kenny on this incredible night,” said executive producers Keith Wortman and Ken Levitan. “We are so thrilled to share this special with his friends, family and fans all around the world, as he will remain forever in our hearts.”

Kenny Rogers: All In For The Gambler aired on Thursday, Sept. 23 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on CBS and was streamed live and on demand on Paramount+.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.