"I've lost so many wonderful people in my life in the last few years. But Kenny - he was very, very dear and special and I never get tired of hearing us sing, all the years that we were on stage together."
Rogers passed away in March 2020 from natural causes at the age of 81.
KENNY ROGERS, COUNTRY MUSIC ICON, DIES AT 81
At the time, Parton shared her sadness in a video tribute posted to social media. "I loved Kenny with all my heart. And my heart is broken. And a big 'ole chunk of it has gone with him today," she said.
In her interview with People, she asked, "You know how sometimes you get tired of singing something because it just becomes routine?", referring to their hit song "Island in the Stream."
"I would always lighten up when that particular song was due in the set-list. It just always made everybody feel so good in the audience and the audience always loved singing it. I never got tired of Kenny's voice."
Another song that packs a punch for Parton is their 2013 hit "You Can't Make Old Friends," which was inspired by the duo's unique friendship.
"[We recorded that song] just in time too, honestly," recalls Parton, referring to the fact that Rogers would later retire for health reasons. "And now I can't hardly sing it.
"You can make new friends that feel like old friends, but there's just something about the people that have spent years together … You have a history, and you learn about each other, inside and out. I knew Kenny very well. We're very similar. We're like brother and sister really."
After taking a moment, she said "He's up there singing. I know that."
Rogers previously told Fox & Friends that the song carried significant weight. "The song was written for the two of us. We sang it on the stage of the war memorial in Nashville and both of us were really choked up, because it’s kind of a poignantly sad song. It’s about what am I going to do when you’re gone."