Dolly Parton Invested Whitney Houston “I Will Always Love You” Royalties in Black Community

Dolly Parton (Photo: David Becker)

Dolly Parton always had Whitney Houston in mind when she invested her royalties from the late singer’s rendition of “I Will Always Love You.” In a recent interview on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Parton revealed that she used monies earned from Houston’s version of the song, featured in the 1992 film The Bodyguard, to buy an office complex in the Sevier Park area of Nashville, which is home to predominantly black families and businesses.

“I bought my big office complex down in Nashville, so I thought, ‘Well, this is a wonderful place to be,’’’ said Parton in the interview. “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. It was off the beaten path from 16th Avenue and I thought, ‘Well, I am gonna buy this place, the whole strip mall.’ And I thought, ‘This is the perfect place for me to be,’ considering it was Whitney.”

The song, which Parton wrote and recorded in 1973 as a goodbye to her former mentor and business partner, the late Porter Wagoner, who worked with Parton as a musical duo throughout the ’60 and ’70s and featured her on his television show in 1967, has earned the artist tens of millions following Houston’s rendition, bringing in $10 million for Parton alone throughout the 1990s.

The Bodyguard soundtrack sold more than 45 million copies, and topped record sales of the then-reigning Use Your Illusion II by Guns N’ Roses and Eric Clapton’s Unplugged, and is considered one of the best-selling soundtracks of all time.

Throughout the years, Parton also revisited the song, re-recording it in 1982 for The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas soundtrack and again as a duet with Vince Gill in 1995.

“I thought this was great,” said Parton of her Nashville purchase. “I’m just gonna be down here with her people, who are my people as well. So I just love the fact that I spent that money on a complex, and I think, ‘This is the house that Whitney built.'”

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