Dolly Parton woke up Saturday (March 21) to the news of the death of her dear friend and collaborator Kenny Rogers. The country icon is mourning her fellow artist, but, she says, she knows he's in a better place.

"I couldn't believe it this morning when I got up," Parton says in a video shared on Facebook on Saturday morning. "I know we all know that Kenny's in a better place than we are today ... and he's gonna be asking [God] to spread some light on a bunch of this darkness going on here."

Parton and Rogers were dear friends and duet partners multiple times over. Most famously, the pair recorded "Islands in the Stream" in 1983; the song hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, country singles and adult contemporary singles charts. They also sang together on "You Can't Make Old Friends," the title track of Rogers' 2013 album.

"I loved Kenny with all my heart. My heart's broken, and a big old chunk of it has gone with him today," Parton says in her video. In its caption, she adds, "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."

Rogers died Friday (March 20), at the age of 81. He is survived by his wife, Wanda Miller, and their two children, along with three other children from previous marriages.

As Rogers died during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, his family is planning a small, private service for the time being. However, per a statement, they "look forward to celebrating Kenny’s life publicly with his friends and fans at a later date."

LOOK: Kenny Rogers Through the Years

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