March 27, 2020

Closer Weekly: Kenny Rogers' Ex-Wife Marianne Gordon Comments on Late Singer's Rumored Romance with Dolly Parton

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Ever since Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton recorded “Islands in the Stream” in 1983, fans and the press had a hard time believing that the two weren’t actually lovers.

On March 20, 2020, America woke up with the sad news about country music legend Kenny Rogers' death at age 81, prompting the music world and his huge fan base to fill social media with tributes to the late star. 

Rogers’ former wife Marianne Gordon, 72, is among the personalities that shared their feelings and memories about the late singer, and there was a subject that she wasn’t shy to address.


In what could have been an awkward moment, Gordon, once an actress, was asked about the insisting rumors of a romance between her former husband and fellow country music icon and frequent collaborator Dolly Parton, 74.

When Closer Weekly’s Joyann Jeffrey asked Gordon whether she ever felt uncomfortable about Rogers’ close friendship and on-stage chemistry, Gordon replied that she trusted him enough back then to worry about it, adding:

“Kenny said ‘I like her [Dolly] as a friend and we have a great thing on stage. We’d lose it. There is sexual tension and teasing each other and it would screw it up.’” 


Even though she clearly doesn’t hold anything against Parton, Gordon also admitted that she wouldn’t be surprised if the “Jolene” singer had attempted to move forward with Rogers.

“Dolly might have [made a move though]. It’s entered my mind because she always said she thought like a man. I don’t mean it badly. Dolly is a fun girl,” Gordon said.


However, Rogers and Parton had their chance to open up about why their friendship never evolved into an affair in a 2017 joint interview on the “Today” show.

"I'm a believer that tension is better if you keep it than if you satisfy it. And then secondly, she said no to me," Rogers joked about Parton.“You know what, we were almost like brother and sister. And it would almost be like incest. So we just never went there,” Parton added.



Upon hearing the news of Rogers’ passing, Parton took to her Instagram account to share a heartfelt video message to pay tribute to her longtime friend and artistic associate,

“I loved Kenny with all my heart and my heart’s broken and a big chunk of it has gone with him today. And I think that I can speak for all his family, his friends and fans, when I say that I will always love you,” Parton said, quoting her famous song.


Parton couldn’t refrain from addressing the current coronavirus pandemic in the clip, stating that “we all know Kenny’s in a better place than we are today.”

Always a religious woman, and especially during these difficult times for humanity, Parton said to be certain that her late friend was going to have a talk with God “asking him to spread some light on a bunch of this darkness.” 

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