Dolly Parton Says Whitney Houston Would’ve Outsung Her in a Duet

Both Dolly Parton and Whitney Houston have earned legendary status in the entertainment industry. Their contributions to the music world, in particular, have been substantial. And while the two singers couldn’t be more different, some fans have often wished they could’ve teamed up for a duet. Many people consider it a loss that the pair never had the opportunity to perform “I Will Always Love You” together.

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

Who did Dolly Parton write ‘I Will Always Love You’ for?

It was Parton who penned “I Will Always Love You” back in 1973. The song was written as a farewell to Porter Wagoner, who was Parton’s mentor and business partner. The tune, which detailed Parton’s decision to pursue a solo career, was a commercial hit. In fact, it topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts on two separate occasions. However, the song received a second life when Houston recorded it.

Whitney Houston’s version of the tune was a global hit

In 1992, Houston recorded “I Will Always Love You” for the film, The Bodyguard, catapulting Parton’s song to new heights. The tune stayed atop the Billboard Hot 100 charts for 14 consecutive weeks and became a global success. In addition to going certified diamond, the song earned Houston a Grammy award for Record of the Year.

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Parton has always been very complimentary about Houston’s version of her song. The 9 to 5 actor explained that she felt honored with what Houston was able to do to her song. In fact, she even called The Cheetah Girls’ producer to personally give her praise. But even though the powerhouse performers were very supportive of each other, there were never any plans for them to perform the duet together.

Parton feels Houston would have outsung her if they ever performed ‘I Will Always Love You’ as a duet

During an interview with Watch What Happens Live, Parton shared that she was never approached to perform “I Will Always Love You” with Houston. But the Hannah Montana alum revealed that she would have loved to sing the song as a duet. However, she does admit that she thinks Houston would’ve had her beat vocally.

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“I was never asked to perform that with Whitney,” Parton revealed. “I wish that could’ve happened, I would have loved that, but I don’t think I could’ve come up to snuff with her, though. She’d have out-sung me on that one for sure.” 

The ‘Cinderella’ actor thought the world of the ‘Jolene’ singer’s approval

For her part, Houston was also extremely complimentary of Parton and her vocal chops. While speaking with Rolling Stone, shortly after her version of “I Will Always Love You” came out, Houston had this to say about the country singer.

“I think Dolly Parton is a hell of a writer and a hell of a singer,” Houston shared. “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.” Clearly, both women were in full support of each other. And while fans will never get their duet of “I Will Always Love You,” at least there are two unique versions to enjoy.

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