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Remembering the Gambler: Country music pays tribute to Kenny Rogers

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Doug McKenzie/Getty ImagesIn the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, the country music family awoke Saturday morning to the news of the passing of Kenny Rogers. Here’s how the legend’s friends and colleagues were remembering the singer, actor, and entrepreneur on social media: 

Dolly Parton: You never know how much you love somebody until they’re gone. 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.

Reba McEntire: 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.

Blake Shelton: I can’t express on twitter the impact Kenny Rogers the artist and the man had on me. He was always very kind and fun to be around. Rest In Peace Gambler…

Jake OwenI woke up the news of Kenny Rogers passing. It’s not about #1s. It’s about the legacy you leave behind and he was a great man. He changed Country Music and had a voice like no other. Thank you Kenny. Thank you.

Kelsea Ballerini: one of the greatest songwriters and voices of our genre. sad day in music.

Brad Paisley: Rest In Peace Kenny Rogers. We loved you.

Zac Brown BandLow quality clip [of “The Gambler” at CMA Fest], high quality man. Your music will live on forever Kenny Rogers. 

Jennifer NettlesToday country music lost a legend. I had the honor of singing [“Islands in the Stream”] with Kenny Rogers at the 2013 CMA’s. Just watch everybody singing along in the audience. What joy he brought to the world. I remember singing this song with my daddy in his truck when I was a little girl and was blown away to get to perform it with Kenny. Everybody loved Kenny’s voice. I was honored to perform with him and later on his Christmas album as well. (He even let me rent his tour bus to go on tour later:-). Rest In Peace and Power. Bring your special, smokey voice to that angel band.

Lee Ann Womack: I always enjoy working with Kenny…the ultimate pro, and always kind and down to earth. Thinking of his wife and children today.

Country Music Association: 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.

Academy of Country Music: Country Music legend Kenny Rogers decorated our lives with incredible music and memories. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family.

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.

Tracy Lawrence:  What an amazing journey Kenny Rogers had. I had the pleasure of visiting with him several times over the years. He was always very gracious to me. His music touched me from an early age. I remember my great aunt Lucille paying me a quarter to sing Kenny’s “Lucille” to her when I was 7 or 8 years old. I’ve always considered that my first paid performance. His music and movies will always be a part of us. Rest in peace my friend.

Mark Chesnutt: When I first started out in this business. Kenny Rogers was one of the first really big artists that took me out on a tour. I ended up doing a couple of Christmas tours with him. He was such a great guy and would always come to check on me before the show. He will be missed!

Steve Wariner: Hearing Kenny Rogers’ magnificent voice singing MY lyrics, my music, to ‘I’m Missing You,’ that was definitely a highlight! When KR sang that song, he OWNED it. What a talent and what a sweet man. Kenny, you certainly made this world a better place. Rest In Peace my friend.

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