Dolly Parton ‘Almost Wrecked’ Her Car When She Heard Whitney Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You’

It’s rare that a cover of a hit song is as good as the original. But Whitney Houston managed to deliver a version of “I Will Always Love You” that surpassed any and all odds. Though country music legend, Dolly Parton released the tune back in 1974, Houston was able to reimagine the hit in 1992. This catapulted the song to new heights.

I Will Always Love You singer Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton | Rick Kern/FilmMagic

Both versions of ‘I Will Always Love You’ were very successful

“I Will Always Love You” wasn’t short on popularity when Parton first released it. In fact, it sat atop the Billboard Country charts on two separate occasions. However, Houston’s rendition became even more popular. Billboard reported that the song hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and stayed there for a whopping 14 weeks.

How much money did Dolly Parton make from Whitney Houston’s version of her song?

As the songwriter of “I Will Always Love You,” Parton benefited greatly from Houston’s version of the tune. Forbes reported that, due to royalties, she made a cool $10 million from the 1992 song. However, the “Jolene” singer’s love of Houston’s cover wasn’t just financially driven. The Hannah Montana alum was truly moved by Houston’s beautiful cover of her song.

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The ‘Jolene’ singer recalls hearing Houston’s cover for the very first time

In an interview with SiriusXM, Parton recalled hearing Houston’s version of “I Will Always Love You” for the very first time. The 9 to 5 actor recalls driving home from her office and hearing the tune. While something in her registered immediately, it took her a while to realize what she was listening to. When she finally did, the Dollywood owner was so blown away that she actually had to pull over on the side of the road.

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“I almost wrecked,” Parton exclaimed. “I had to pull over. I was afraid because I was so caught up in that by then that I had to pull over and listen to it. But it was the most overwhelming feeling that little song mine could be done so beautifully, so big, so overwhelming, that it really almost just heart attack right there; I’ll never forget it.”

Parton called Houston after hearing the 1992 version of “I Will Always Love You”

Parton was so moved that she even went out of her way to personally call Houston about the song. In 1993, while speaking with Rolling Stone, the producer of The Princess Diaries described their conversation. Houston shared that Parton revealed that she was honored with how the Cinderella star reimagined “I Will Always Love You.” For her part, Houston shared that the praise was not something she took lightly.

“I think Dolly Parton is a hell of a writer and a hell of a singer,” Houston said. “I was so concerned when I sang her song how she’d feel about it, in terms of the arrangement, my licks, my flavor. When she said she was floored, that meant so much to me.”

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