SINGAPORE – Tributes have poured in for country music legend Kenny Rogers, who died on Friday (March 20) at 81.

American singer Lionel Richie, who wrote one of Rogers’ biggest hits Lady (1980), wrote on social media on Saturday, “Today I lost one of my closest friends. So much laughter so many adventures to remember, my heart is broken. My prayers go out to Kenny’s family.”

American singer Dolly Parton, who performed the song Islands In The Stream (1983) with Rogers, said in a video on Twitter she could not believe the news when she learnt about his death.

“You never know how much you love somebody until they’re gone,” she said. “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.”

American country music singer Blake Shelton wrote on Twitter, “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…”

Shelton was referring to Rogers’ signature song The Gambler (1978), which won him a Grammy Award in 1979.

Shelton had honoured Rogers by performing the song at the Cracker Barrel Country Songs of the Year Concert in 2006.

Singer-songwriter Richard Marx posted a photo of him with Rogers on Twitter and wrote, “Thank you for sitting down next to a 19 year-old me at the piano and listening to the song I’d written for you. Thank you for recording it and others we wrote together. Thank you for the years of advice and encouragement and laughs. I will miss you, pal.”

Marx has co-written songs with Rogers such as What About Me? (1984) and Crazy (1984).

Today I lost one of my closest friends 💔 So much laughter so many adventures to remember, my heart is broken. My prayers go out to Kenny’s Family.🙏

A post shared by Lionel Richie (@lionelrichie) on

Country music superstar Bill Ray Cyrus wrote on Twitter, “No one bridged the gap between country and pop more often and better than Kenny Rogers. He will be missed, but his music and diverse style of storytelling will live on forever.”

Other celebrities who have written tributes to Rogers included country music singer Travis Tritt, singer-songwriter Charlie Daniels and American comedian Larry the Cable Guy.

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