Dolly Parton said it best in her video this morning after learning that her longtime friend and music partner Kenny Rogers had died of natural causes at the age of 81. She said, “You never know how much you love somebody until they’re gone.”
As we already reported, Parton posted a video talking about how much she loved Kenny and many other country stars and friends did the same thing today with thoughts about Kenny Rogers passing during this already difficult time.
Here’s what everyone had to say about our beloved “Gambler”:
Jason Aldean: “I woke up this morning to the news that Kenny Rogers passed away. The first concert I ever attended was his back in the early 80’s and it forever changed my life. I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to him a few times over the years and I am so grateful to have spent a few moments with him. He was an icon that helped bring in a whole new audience to country music and he forever changed the game for all of us. He will always be missed and remembered….. R.I.P. Gambler
Brad Paisley posted a video to Instagram singing “Sweet Music Man.” he posted, “Rest In Peace Kenny Rogers. We loved you. #kennyrogers #sweetmusicman.”
Kelsea Ballerini and Morgan Evans sang “Islands in the Stream” together on their couch this morning. He posted, “We’ll miss you Kenny.”
Reba wrote, “Kenny, Go rest high on that mountain. Please tell mama and daddy hi for me. Thank you for your friendship and your love. We are going to miss you but we are so happy you’re singing with the Angels in heaven. Can’t wait to see you again one of these days. Rest in peace my friend.”
Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley: “What a great man. You will he missed #kennyrogers . This was from 2009 when @ladyantebellum got the opportunity to open up a show in Switzerland for Kenny. He really opened the door for us and touring internationally.”
Billy Ray Cyrus: “No one bridged the gap between country and pop more often and better than Kenny Rogers. He will be missed, but his music and diverse style of story telling will live on forever.”
Zac Brown: “Low quality clip, high quality man. Your music will live on forever @_kennyrogers! #TheGambler #CMAfest.”
The Grand Ole Opry: “Tough times just got a little tougher. Thanks for the music that’ll ease our souls today and for years to come, Kenny Rogers.”
Country Music Hall of Fame: “Kenny Rogers is, of course, one of music’s most successful and enduring artists. His uncanny song sense and impeccable singing resonated across the genre lines that he took delight in ignoring. The antithesis of a gambler, he thought deeply and acted deliberately with every career decision, and those decisions brought to light the songwriting talents of Hal Bynum, Mickey Newbury, Don Schlitz, and many more. Though he was by any definition a superstar, he lived a life of service to songs, writers, and, above all, listeners.” – Kyle Young, CEO.
CMA: “Country Music has lost the great Kenny Rogers, who has forever left a mark on Country Music’s history. His family and friends are in our thoughts during this difficult time.”
Trace Adkins: “Every time I was in his presence he was unbelievably kind, which I appreciated because I was always star struck to the point of not being able to speak. He was a force in the music industry – one of the most distinct and recognizable voices in the history of country music, and I truly admired him. Rest easy, Gambler.”