Our deepest condolences go out to Dolly Parton who said a final farewell to her friend and former manager Don Warden on March 11. He was 87 years old.
Dolly shared the sad news on her Twitter page, with the heartbreaking message, "A huge piece of my life is gone. Rest in peace Don and know for sure that I will always love you."
On her website, Dolly paid proper tribute to her longtime friend. In a tender homage, she elaborated, "I've known Don since I joined 'The Porter Wagoner Show' in 1967. He was like a father, a brother, a partner and one of my best friends. I feel like a piece of my heart is missing today. Certainly a huge piece of my life is gone..."
A huge piece of my life is gone. Rest in peace Don and know for sure that I will always love you. https://t.co/FrtL0jiUYw
In her 1994 autobiography, "Dolly: My life and Other Unfinished Business," she wrote, "Anybody who knows him—and he knows everybody—looks up to him. At one time there was even a T-shirt being sold around Nashville that read 'I KNOW DON WARDEN.' People are still calling me and asking, 'How can I get one of those Don Warden T-shirts?' Sometimes it feels like people are only using me to get to Don."
Dolly Parton through the years
Dolly Parton through the years
20th May 1977: Country music queen Dolly Parton is back in London after performing at the King's Theatre, Glasgow, at a Scottish Royal Jubilee Television Special in the presence of the Queen, she now commences on a tour of Britain and the continent. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
UNDATED FILE PHOTO: Singer Dolly Parton. (photo by Newsmakers)
NASHVILLE, : Dolly Parton (R) performs with Alison Krauss (L) during the 75th Birthday for country music's Grand Ole Opry 14 October 2000 in Nashville, Tennessee. Several country music stars showed up to help celebrate the event. AFP PHOTO/Neil BRAKE (Photo credit should read NEIL BRAKE/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 16: American country and western singer Dolly Parton poses 16 February 2001, during the launch of her new album 'Little Arrow' in a London record store. (Photo credit should read HUGO PHILPOT/AFP/Getty Images)
Dolly Parton performed with Brad Paisley at the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center, Los Angeles, Ca. 2/21/01. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Dolly Parton accepting at the Songwriters Hall of Fame 32nd Annual Awards at Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers in New York City. June 14, 2001. Photo: Scott Gries/ImageDirect
NEW YORK - JULY 5: Singer Dolly Parton performs for the 'NBC Today Show Summer Concert Series' at Rockefeller Center July 5, 2002 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 7: Country Singer Dolly Parton performs at the House of Blues on August 7, 2002 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Robert Mora/Getty Images)
LONDON - OCTOBER 8: Singer Dolly Parton poses for photographers on October 8, 2002 at the Oxford Street HMV store in London, England. Parton was at the store to sign copies of her recently released album, 'Halos and Horns,' which includes a cover of Led Zeppelin's 'Stairway to Heaven.' (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
WESTWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 15: Singer Dolly Parton poses for a photograph prior to the Tennessee Film & Music Commission's industry reception at the W Hotel on October 15, 2002 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Robert Mora/Getty Images)
BURBANK, CA - OCTOBER 9: Singer Dolly Parton appears on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' at the NBC Studios on October 9, 2003 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 15: Singer Dolly Parton (L) and actress/singer Reba McEntire appear on the set of The WB's 'Reba' at 20th Century Fox Studios on February 15, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - MARCH 4: Singer Dolly Parton performs at the Weinstein Co. Pre-Oscar Party at the Pacific Design Center on March 4, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - MARCH 5: Singer Dolly Parton arrives at the 78th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre March 5, 2006 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - OCTOBER 26: Singer Dolly Parton performs at the Country Music Television's CMT Giants honoring Reba McEntire at the Kodak Theatre on October 26, 2006 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
US country music singer Dolly Parton performs onstage in London as part of her 'Backwoods Barbie' world tour, on July 5, 2008. The tour will see her promoting the self-released album with concerts across the world. AFP PHOTO/Leon Neal (Photo credit should read Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 08: Musician Marty Stuart and singer Dolly Parton perform during Marty Stuart's 10th Annual Late Night Jam at the Ryman Auditorium on June 8, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 10: Dolly Parton talks to the media at a press conference at the InterContinental Sydney on November 10, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 09: Actress Dolly Parton arrives at the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Joyful Noise' held at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on January 9, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
RANCHO MIRAGE, CA - JANUARY 24: Singer Dolly Parton Performs at Agua Caliente Casino on January 24, 2014 in Rancho Mirage, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 18: Stella Parton and Dolly Parton attend Stella Parton's Red Tent Women's Conference 2014 at the Doubletree Hotel Downtown on April 18, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 27: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Dolly Parton performs on QVC Presents, Dolly Parton Q Sessions Live from Nashville - Featuring 'Blue Smoke' Dolly Parton rehearses at NorthStar Studios on April 27, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Webster PR)
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 27: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Dolly Parton performs during Dolly Parton Q Sessions featuring 'Blue Smoke' QVC Presents A Night In Nashville With Dolly Parton - Show at NorthStar Studios on April 27, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Webster PR)
KNOXVILLE, TN - MAY 28: Dolly Parton performs during a concert to benefit Dolly's Imagination Library & Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation at The University of Tennessee's Thompson-boling Arena on May 28, 2014 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 13: Dolly Parton performs on NBC's 'Today' at Rockefeller Plaza on May 13, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
US country music singer Dolly Parton performs on the Pyramid Stage, on the final day of the Glastonbury Festival of Music and Performing Arts on Worthy Farm in Somerset, southwest England, on June 29, 2014. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)
Richie Sambora of US rock group Bon Jovi joins US singer Dolly Parton on the Pyramid Stage, on the final day of the Glastonbury Festival of Music and Performing Arts on Worthy Farm in Somerset, southwest England, on June 29, 2014. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)
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Don had been part of Porter's original trio and joined the Opry with the country icon before they started "The Porter Wagoner Show" in 1954. When Porter left the television show, Don moved over to Dolly's camp and became her manager.
In addition to his keen business acumen in managing the career of one of the most successful women in country music, Don was also a respected steel guitar player. He began playing in the 1950s with artists on the popular radio show "Louisiana Hayride." The Mountain Grove, Missouri native was inducted into the Steel Guitar Players Hall of Fame in 2008.
Again, our sympathies are with all of those who knew Don best and loved him most.