Country superstar singer and songwriter Dolly Parton was the writer of Whitney Houston’s mega-hit “I Will Always Love You.” Parton was also the first singer of the song before it became mainstream. But Parton has recently shared what she did with a lot of the money she made from royalties earned as Houston’s rendition played over and over on radio stations — she invested in a Black community.
Parton talked about the millions of dollars she earned and turning it around to help grow an area of Nashville.
Forbes reported Parton earned $10 million for Houston’s version of her 1973 song. She is still making money from the recording today.
Parton said she spent it all on her “big office complex in Nashville” and was part of a Black community, HuffPost reported.
“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. I was just off the beaten path from 16th Avenue and I thought, ‘Well, I am gonna buy this place — the whole strip mall.’” she shared with Andy Cohen, according to HuffPost. “And I thought, ‘This is the perfect place for me to be,’ considering it was Whitney. I thought this is great — 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.’”
Despite rumors that Parton and Houston feuded over the song, it was not true.
Houston told Rolling Stone in 1993 that she had talked with Parton about the song, calling it beautiful.
Parton told Larry King that there was no feud during a 2003 interview.
She actually said she would have loved to sing the song with Houston before Houston passed ways in 2012.
“I was never asked to perform that with Whitney. I wish that could have happened. I would’ve loved that but I don’t think I could’ve come up to [sing] with her, though. She would’ve outsung me on that one for sure,” Parton said during the interview with Cohen, People magazine reported.
Parton wrote the song as a goodbye to her former partner, Porter Wagoner, People magazine reported.
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