“My brother Randy [Parton] has lost his battle with cancer,” Dolly Parton said in a statement posted to social media on Jan. 21. The 67-year-old singer and businessman lost his battle with cancer, and Dolly, 75, honored her beloved baby brother’s life and legacy. “The family and I are grieving his loss, but we know he is in a better place than we are at this time. We are a family of faith, and we believe that he is safe with God and that he is joined by members of the family that have gone on before and have welcomed him with joy and open arms.”
“Randy was a great singer, writer, and entertainer. He sang, played guitar and bass in my band for many years,” continued Dolly’s statement. “He headed his own show at Dollywood since it opened in 1986. He’s had several chart records of his own, but his duet with me on ‘Old Flames Can’t Hold A Candle To You’ will always be a highlight in my own career. ‘You Are My Christmas,’ our duet on my latest Christmas album, joined with his daughter Heidi, will always be a favorite. It was his last musical recording, and he shined on it just like he’s shining in heaven now.”
Randy is “survived by his wife Deb, his daughter Heidi, son Sabyn, grandsons Huston and Trent,” the statement read. “We will always love him, and he will always be in our hearts.”
Randy was the eighth of 12 children born to Robert and Avie Lee, according to Taste of Country. Like his sisters Dolly and Stella Parton (“I Want to Hold You In My Dreams Tonight”), he pursued a music career. While he didn’t have the same level of success as Dolly, he had a few hits of his own throughout the 1980s, including “Hold Me Like You Never Had Me,” and “Shot Full Of Love.” However, he’ll be best remembered for his duet with Dolly.
“Old Flames Can’t Hold A Candle To You,” first recorded by country singer-songwriter Joe Sun in 1978, hit the top of the U.S. country singles chart in August 1980 after Dolly and Randy covered it. The song was included in her 1980 album, Dolly, Dolly, Dolly. The song was written by Patricia “Pebe” Sebert and Hugh Moffat, and Pebe’s daughter, Kesha, covered it on her 2012 EP Deconstructed. A version featuring Dolly is on Kesha’s 2017 album, Rainbow.