Long before Whitney Houston’s iconic rerecording, Dolly Parton’s 1974 hit “I Will Always Love You” was almost sung by someone else.
In a profile for W magazine, Parton, 75, revealed why Elvis Presley was also meant to record the song.
Turns out, the “9 to 5” actress actually met with Presley’s manager to discuss the song, but his manager wanted half of the publishing rights in exchange for the King of Rock and Roll to sing the tune.
“I said, ‘I’m sorry, but I can’t give you the publishing,’” Parton told the publication. “I wanted to hear Elvis sing it, and it broke my heart — I cried all night.”
She continued: “I had to keep that copyright in my pocket. You have to take care of your business! Everybody’s going to use you if they can. These are my songs — they’re like my children. And I expect them to support me when I’m old!”
Despite Presley never recording the song, the record still held a special place in his heart. “Priscilla, Elvis’s wife, told me that when she and Elvis divorced, Elvis sang my song to her,” Parton added. “That touched me so deeply.”
Priscilla and Elvis married in 1967 and divorced in 1973. The “Love Me Tender” actor died in 1977 at the age of 42 due to heart disease.
Of course, Whitney Houston recorded “I Will Always Love You” in 1992 for her romantic drama, “The Bodyguard,” much to Parton’s delight. Last year, she told Oprah that after hearing it for the first time, she had to pull over the car she was driving so she wouldn’t crash it.
Parton then reminisced about Houston, who died in 2012, during her W interview. “They also played [‘I Will Always Love You’] at Whitney Houston’s funeral,” she said. “After that, I thought, I bet they’ll play the same song when I go.”
Miley Cyrus’ godmother also looked back on her long and successful career and revealed there is one song that influenced her.
“When I heard ‘Puppy Love’ on the radio for the first time, I about killed myself,” she said. “I was sitting on the counter at my aunt’s house, and suddenly I heard my voice. I slid on the floor, ’cause she was mopping. I was trying to get to the radio. Even to this day, I’ve never had anything that was more exciting than the first time I heard myself on the radio.”
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