8 Amazing Things That Happened During Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers’ “Island in the Streams” Duet

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If you’re keeping score at home, you’ll remember that Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers‘ “Islands in the Stream” is one of the biggest crossover hits of all-time. As it topped Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart in 1983 it topped our hearts as well.

The iconic pairing has joined forces hundreds of times, but perhaps none more poignant than when they teamed up for Dolly’s “Smoky Mountains Rise Telethon: A Benefit for My People Fund.”

Kenny came in at 78-years-old with a bad back and retirement under his belt, but knew if Dolly called it was important.

For all the reasons this performance wasn’t the best ever, it was one of the best ever. The chemistry between these old friends is alive and well. Kenny may be ailing, but he can still take a joke with the best of ’em. And where Kenny was lacking Dolly more than made up for it.

8 Amazing Things That Happened During Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers’ “Island in the Streams” Duet:

1. Dolly straight up asked if Kenny thought they remembered the song well enough to sing it. He mentioned that their was a monitor with words present in case something went awry. (I never saw them use it.)


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2. Kenny tried to make a grand gesture and practically hit Dolly in the hair.

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3. Never missing a beat, Dolly batted his hand away and told him, “don’t break my hair.”

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4. Dolly asked Kenny to “step back and let me sing?”

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5. When Kenny needed a rest, Dolly just put together some dance moves.

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6. Then, she told Kenny, “you just stay right there.”

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7. Just like they always do, the high notes came.

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8. For the grand finale, Dolly hip checked Kenny so hard he fell over.

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Here’s the full, beautiful performance: