- Dolly Parton made millions in royalties from Whitney Houston’s version of “I Will Always Love You.”
- She wrote “I Will Always Love You” and Houston sang a rendition for the 1992 film “The Bodyguard.”
- Parton says she used the money to buy property in an area of Nashville where Black families lived.
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Houston’s version became one of the best-selling singles of all time and led to Parton pocketing $US10 ($AU14) million through the 1990s in royalties, according to Forbes. Those earnings have only grown through the decades, especially following Houston’s death in 2012 when the song re-entered the charts.
So how has Parton spent that money? According to the country music legend, she used it to help a Black community in Nashville.
“I bought my big office complex down in Nashville,” she told Andy Cohen on Thursday’s episode of “Watch What Happens Live” (via Yahoo). “So I thought, ‘well this is a wonderful place to be.'”
“I bought a property down in what was the Black area of town, and it was mostly just Black families and people that lived around there,” she continued. “And it was off the beaten path from 16th avenue and I thought, ‘Well I am going to buy this place, the whole strip mall.’ And thought, ‘This is the perfect place for me to be,’ considering it was Whitney.””So I just thought this was great, I’m just gonna be down here with her people, who are my people as well,” Parton said. “And so I just love the fact that I spent that money on a complex. And I think, ‘This is the house that Whitney built.'”
In a November appearance on Apple TV+’s “The Oprah Conversation,” Parton recalled what it was like to hear Houston’s rendition of “I Will Always Love You” for the first time. She explained that she unexpectedly heard the song on the radio when she was driving and didn’t immediately realize it was her song.
“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 told Winfrey, according to Yahoo. “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.”