Lionel Richie Pens Heartbreaking Note to Late Kenny Rogers and Family: 'I Lost One of My Closest Friends'
By Liz Calvario
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It's never easy losing a friend.
Lionel Richie is mourning the loss of one of his closest pals, Kenny Rogers. The 70-year-old singer posted a series of photos of himself and Rogers on his Instagram, remembering their time together. Rogers died on Friday of natural causes at the age of 81.
"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.?" Richie wrote alongside his slideshow. The American Idol judge received a number of sweet and supportive messages on his post.
Richie and Rogers had a decades-long friendship. The "All Night Long" singer wrote Rogers' big hit "Lady," which was released in 1980. Thereafter, the two always maintained a close professional and personal relationship.
Rogers shared memories of his and Richie's time together in their early days during the Lionel Richie and Friends in Concert in Las Vegas in 2012.
"He's not just a friend of mine, but the song he wrote was truly a changing point in my career," Rogers said. "It's one of the most identifiable songs I've ever done. I'd love to have you come up and sing it with me."
Meanwhile, Keith Urban also tweeted: "THANK YOU KENNY ROGERS - for decades of genre bending music and collaborations - for making music that travelled the globe .. and songs that became common threads for people from all walks of life !! GO REST HIGH BROTHER. With love and deep appreciation."
THANK YOU KENNY ROGERS- for decades of genre bending music and collaborations - for making music that travelled the globe .. and songs that became common threads for people from all walks of life !! GO REST HIGH BROTHER. With love and deep appreciation . KU
Reba McEntire posted a photo of herself and Rogers, writing: "Kenny, Go rest high on that mountain. Please tell mama and daddy hi for me. Thank you for your friendship and your love. We are going to miss you but we are so happy you’re singing with the Angels in heaven. Can’t wait to see you again one of these days. Rest in peace my friend."
Also, I woke up the news of @_KennyRogers passing. It’s not about #1s. It’s about the legacy you leave behind and he was a great man. He changed Country Music and had a voice like no other. Thank you Kenny. Thank you. 🙏🏼
"Kenny Rogers was one of the greatest, I've been thinking about him all day since I heard the sad news. When we went into Hall of Fame together, truth is, I thought he was already in! To be inducted alongside him made it that much more of an honor. 'The Gamber' is a great story song, so well written, and Kenny had an ear for really great songs. He had a magic voice, instantly recognizable. I will miss my friend." - Bobby Bare, Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry member.
"I love you. Stay in touch. Take care of yourself. And, if you ever start recording again, I want to be there'—kind words from my longtime friend, Kenny Rogers. He was always near when you needed him, with that infectious smile that lit a room. I had the honor of working with Kenny, numerous times, over the last 35 years—each time I was left a better person. The songs he gave us and the friendships he collected, will keep his all in touch with our brother, our hero, our friend. Rest easy, Kenny…we will record again, and you will be there. I love you, too!" - Randy Travis, Country Music Hall of Fame and Grand Ole Opry member.
"I went to see Kenny with my dad right out of high school in Fort Worth. I had no idea that years later I would be touring, singing on his record and having a song recorded by him. Kenny was kind and wanted to meet me before my first show opening for him. We were Texans, bass players and he loved the fact that we had both played with the late, great Bobby Doyle. He was a gentleman and an Icon and I am proud to have known him." - Terry McBride
"I am filled with profound sadness with the loss of my friend and fellow artist, Kenny Rogers. God Bless him and his family. He will be greatly missed by all, but his outstanding legacy will live on. Love you, my friend." - Jerry Lee Lewis, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member