In a new TV special, ‘Biography: Kenny Rogers,’ Dolly Parton opened up about her longtime relationship with the singer and whether or not they ever dated.
After various collaborations together, including the legendary “Islands in the Stream,” Dolly Parton was a huge part of Kenny Rogers‘ life. So, of course, she was one of the stars interviewed in his A&E special, Biography: Kenny Rogers, which aired on April 13. In the two-hour documentary, Dolly reminisced on her longtime friendship with Kenny. “I was always such a feisty little thing, doing things backstage, like pinching him on the butt or something,” she admitted. “There was so much love there, that it was almost sexual in its intensity.”
Of course, because of Kenny and Dolly’s flirtatious friendship, fans have often wondered whether or not things ever did turn romantic between them, but their relationship was never anything more than platonic. “Just the thought of waking up to her….and that laugh…I couldn’t handle it!” Kenny joked in the special, during an interview with Dolly that was filmed before Kenny’s death on March 20. Still, there was an unconditional amount of love between the two stars. “Kenny’s wonderful,” Dolly gushed. “I love him. I just think Kenny’s one of the greatest people I’ve ever known, period. I’m proud to call him [my] friend.”
Dolly also referred to Kenny as her “partner for life” during the documentary, and raved over his talent. “Kenny was a great duet partner because he looked good with a woman and he had this voice that made for a really good, rich blend,” she explained. “Kenny could sing harmony, or he could sing melody. His voice was very versatile.”
The special also featured footage from Kenny’s final concert in Nashville before he retired back in October 2017. Stars like Lionel Richie, Lady Antebellum, Reba McEntire, Idina Menzel and more performed during the concert, and it concluded with a set from Dolly and Kenny together. “I just thought that night was so special,” Dolly recalled. “He will always hold a special place in my heart. It was a really powerful moment just to say goodbye to my dear, dear friend. I thought it was a perfect way to send Kenny into retirement.”