Kenny Rogers headed to Dollywood this past weekend to help his longtime friend and duet partner Dolly Parton raise a large sum of money for her charity, Imagination Library, a book gifting program for kids from birth to age five.

Just a few days after announcing his retirement on the Today Show, Rogers sang to a sold-out crowd at Dollywood’s D.P. Celebrity Theatre. He filled the intimate venue with his classic hits such as “Coward of the County,” “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town,” “The Gambler,” and “Islands in the Stream.”

"You know she's an amazing person. She can take something and really grow it into something fantastic. Dolly has shipped over 70 million books! I think it’s a great idea," says Rogers. "I’m glad to be a part of this and I hope it helps!"

By the end of the night, over $60,000 dollars was raised for the cause. That brought the total raised during the benefit concert series to more than $635,000.

"I'm so grateful to Kenny for wanting to help my Imagination Library," Parton says. "He's always been such a great friend to me and I’m so happy that he made time to come to Dollywood and I know the fans just loved it. Kenny, if you’re reading this, I want to you to know just how much I appreciate you and you know I’ll always love you!”

Rogers will embark on his 34th Christmas tour on Nov. 11. He’ll play 30 shows in America and Canada, including some shiver-inducing states and territories, in support of his new album, Once Again It’s Christmas.

“A lot of the kids that were with us 15 years ago are now 25 and 30 years old. And they bring their kids in and they remember being on the stage up there,” he tells Taste of Country.

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