Did Living Legends Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire Fight Over Late Friend Kenny Rogers?

There’s a country music myth that claims two of the genre’s most prominent icons, Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire, were in a highly competitive feud. According to some rumors, their quarrelling led the legendary singers to clash over who would take the lead in paying tribute to their mutual friend, the late Kenny Rogers.

Where did the gossip of a catty beef between the two come from? And where do Parton and McEntire stand now?

(R) Reba McEntire in a sparkly red outfit, pointing a finger | (R) Kenny Rogers in a black suit with a gray vest, looking down at Dolly Parton in a black and gold dress
(L) Reba McEntire | Image Group LA/ABC/Getty Images | (R) Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton | Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

Why would Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire fight over Kenny Rogers?

The first thing that needs a little explanation is the relationship between the three country music legends. As the gossip tells it, both Parton and McEntire thought they were a closer friend to Rogers than the other.

Supposedly, this disagreement came to a climax following Rogers’ 2020 death when both Parton and McEntire hoped to lead a star-studded tribute to him from the country music world. Their friends were allegedly divided by their bickering about it. Things were said to have gotten so heated, even Garth Brooks supposedly had to choose a side!

That sounds like a lot of kind of bad behavior from a few seasoned professionals — but it’s not like they would be the firsts to do it. So, where did these rumors originate — and is there any apparent truth to them?

Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire probably did not fight over Kenny Rogers

Though the claim pops up on fan-sites from time to time, it appears the story actually originated with the National Enquirer. And from an anonymous source close to the situation, at that.

So, as far as credibility goes – the tale didn’t have a whole lot to begin with. But that hasn’t stopped people from continuing to talk about it. In the end, it really doesn’t seem like either star would risk overshadowing Rogers’ memorial with an argument.

Of course, at this point, Parton and McEntire are well-aware of the gossip surrounding their friendship, and it seems they’ve done more than enough to clear the air.

Dolly Parton tweeted about her four-decade friendship with Reba McEntire in 2020

The two stars don’t seem to be having any trouble getting along these days! Parton herself said their friendship’s been going strong for more than four decades. In Sep. 2020, she tweeted, “With a friendship that’s lasted over 40 years, [Reba] and I always have a lot to talk about!”

So, that seems to be just about that. But it’s not the only way the two singers have shown their love for each other. In Oct. 2021, they teamed up for their first duet — featured on McEntire’s latest release, Revived Remixed Revisited.

Parton joined her friend for a cover of one of one of her old ballads, “Does He Love You.” And McEntire was apparently very eager to work with Parton. She told Taste of Country the collaboration on one of her own songs was a “dream come true” that left her “just thrilled to pieces.”

Notably, the song is about a love triangle. But, no, it doesn’t seem to involve Kenny Rogers.

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