Dolly Parton Almost Died The First Time She Heard Whitney Houston Sing ‘I Will Always Love You’
Dolly Parton recounted the first time she heard Whitney Houston sing "I Will Always Love You" while driving in her car for Oprah Winfrey.
Country music icon Dolly Parton recounted the first time she heard Whitney Houston’s version of her song, “I Will Always Love You”, to Oprah recently. And, to put it mildly, the singer-songwriter had a BIG reaction.
Dolly Parton Was Driving When Whitney Houston Came On The Radio
“My heart just started to beat so fast and then when she got into ‘I Will Always Love You,’ when that opened up, and I realized that was my song, it was the most overwhelming thing,” Dolly told Oprah Winfrey while appearing on The Oprah Conversation on Apple TV+.
She went on to explain that when she first heard the song, she was driving from her office in downtown Nashville to her home in Brentwood, Tennessee.
“I was shot so full of adrenaline and energy, I had to pull off, because I was afraid that I would wreck, so I pulled over quick as I could to listen to that whole song,” Parton recalled.
“I could not believe how she did that. I mean, how beautiful it was that my little song had turned into that, so that was a major, major thing.”
Talk about making a big first impression! Dolly near drove off the road she was so blown away by Whitney Houston’s take on her song.
You can watch Whitney Houston’s incredible, chart-topping rendition of “I Will Always Love You” in the music video below.
Origins Of Dolly Parton’s Song ‘I Will Always Love You’
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Dolly had written the song back in 1973 as a goodbye letter to her mentor and duet partner, Porter Wagoner.
The two of them had performed together often on his television show in the 1960s and 1970s before Dolly decided to go solo.
Dolly’s version of the song hit number one on the country music charts in 1974 and then again in 1982 after it was featured in her movie, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
It’s hard not to get swept up in Dolly Parton’s stirring 1974 performance of “I Will Always Love You” seen in the video below.
‘I Will Always Love You’ And ‘The Bodyguard’
A few years later, Kevin Costner called Dolly Parton to ask if he could use her song for his 1992 drama The Bodyguard, starring him and Whitney Houston.
“So David Foster was going to produce it and so I called David up,” Parton remembered, according to Yahoo News.
“I said, ‘Now, David, make sure that they do the last verse, because I did it as a recitation and a lot of people say, ‘I can’t recite. I can’t do recitation,’ so they leave out.”
“Linda Ronstadt had recorded it and left that whole verse out. I said, ‘Make sure that if you record this song, that you put that verse in,” she continued.
The country music legend didn’t hear anything back for months, saying, “I didn’t know if they had done it or whatever.”
It wasn’t until Dolly was driving in her car that day that she heard what Houston did with the song, and she even included the final verse!
Whitney Houston’s take on “I Will Always Love You” was a huge hit. The powerful ballad spent fourteen weeks at the top of the charts.
The song reentered the charts once again in 2012, after Houston tragically passed away at the age of 48.