We love ourselves some celeb couples – from the ones that cause drama and take us on roller coaster rides to the smooth sailing ones that oftentimes go under the radar.
Then there are also the couples that could have – but never – happened. Among them: the country music legends Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.
Rogers passed away at his home on March 20, 2020 at age 81. Many famous faces have paid tribute to “The Gambler,” including his long-time duet partner, Dolly Parton. She tweeted alongside a video:
“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.”
“I loved Kenny with all my heart. My heart’s broken, and a big chunk of it has gone with him today.”
From “Islands in the Stream” to “Real Love,” this talented pair certainly made beautiful music together. With that kind of chemistry, why did Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers never date?
Some pals and colleagues get friend-zoned, but Dolly Parton took it to another level when she sibling-zoned her duet partner, Kenny Rogers. She told Today:
“You know what, we were almost like brother and sister. And it would almost be like incest. So we just never went there.”
The running joke is that the two were never even attracted to each other, although Rogers admitted on several occasions that they enjoyed flirting.
“Dolly and I have been accused of having an affair for the last 30 years. And we never did. What we’ve done is we’ve flirted with each other for 30 years.”
Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers had a long history of making music together as duet partners, and many of those tunes were love songs. Their first recording collaboration in 1983, “Islands in the Stream,” became a No. 1 hit and was deemed the best country duet of all time in a 2005 CMT poll. Their chemistry continued with “Love is Strange,” “Real Love,” and “You Can’t Make Old Friends.” Parton told Today that the latter was her favorite because “it’s so personal to both of us.”
Parton even joined Rogers at his last concert before he retired in 2015. That show, called “All in for the Gambler,” was held in Nashville, was a star-studded affair. Parton conveyed mixed feelings about her friend stepping away from the stage. She told Today:
“I don’t think I feel as scared and as empty as some of the fans do, because Kenny and I are friends, and I imagine that we can go visit and maybe once in a while light into a little bit of a song or two.”
Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton talked about their long-standing friendship in a 2013 interview with People. At the time, the duo was asked about previous interviews where Rogers had discussed their relationship status, or lack thereof. Rogers recalled:
“I remember that interview and what I said when they asked if we weren’t tempted to get together on a more intimate level. I said we may have been tempted but we didn’t want to ruin a good friendship.”
Parton agreed with Rogers, telling the magazine:
“We never did go there. There was always so much other stuff going for us. So much love and friendship, we were so compatible.”
Although they kept things platonic between them, both found romance elsewhere. Rogers, who was married five times, ultimately settled down with his wife of 22 years, Wanda Miller. They had twin boys together, Justin and Jordan, whom he adored. Meanwhile, Parton has been married for over 50 years to husband Carl Thomas Dean.
From the sound of it, these two got to experience the joy of true romantic love with their spouses, as well as the love that forms amidst a strong, musical partnership. That may just be the sweetest love story of all.
Watch the video to see The Real Reason Why Dolly Parton And Kenny Rogers Never Dated!
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