Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton; Photo Courtesy of CBS
Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton; Photo Courtesy of CBS

Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers Celebrate Long-Lasting Friendship With “You Can’t Make Old Friends” Performance

On Thursday evening, viewers around the country were treated to a star-studded concert special celebrating the life and legacy of the great Kenny Rogers

The concert special was taped in 2017 as a way to bid farewell to Rogers’ iconic touring career. 

A true highlight of the show was when Rogers’ longtime friend and collaborator, Dolly Parton, joined him on stage for an epic finale performance. 

During their time on stage together, Parton and Rogers reprised one of their iconic duets, “You Can’t Make Old Friends.” The track, which was co-written by Ryan Hanna King, Don Schlitz and Caitlyn Smith, appears on Rogers’ final studio album of the same name. 

Throughout their performance, historic photos of Parton and Rogers’ career flashed across the screen, allowing fans to re-live the magic of their lasting friendship and journey as duet partners. 

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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