Dolly Parton wrote “I Will Always Love You” in 1973. It was written as a farewell to longtime collaborator and partner, Porter Wagoner and charted twice– once in 1974 upon its release and again in 1982 after it was included on the soundtrack to “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.”
With that Parton became the first singer to ever hit No. 1 twice with the same song.
She hit again with Whitney Houston’s version from “The Bodyguard” soundtrack. Houston’s version spent 14 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart– and it’s one of the best-selling singles of all-time– in any genre.
Now, almost 25 years after Houston’s version sat at the top of the charts for so long, Parton told Bobby Bones how the song got to Houston in the first place.
Parton shared, “I had heard from Kevin Costner’s assistant… so, they contacted me and I said, ‘absolutely!’ But, I never heard anything about it again, until I heard it and I was driving from my house to my office… and I heard Whitney sing, ‘If I…’ You know, something caught my attention… It was so overwhelming I almost wrecked.”
Parton also said, “that’s one of the biggest thrills and most overwhelming feelings I’ve ever had about anything in my entire life.”
“The Bodyguard” soundtrack went 17x Platinum and is the best-selling soundtrack of all-time. Houston’s version of “I Will Always Love You” won GRAMMYS for Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1994.
Parton presented Houston with the GRAMMY for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance during the GRAMMY telecast.
Carrie Underwood performed the tune each night during her Storyteller Tour throughout 2016.
Underwood and Parton teamed up to delivered parts of “I Will Always Love You” for 2016’s “Forever Country” mash-up, with Parton delivered the last iconic line.