Dolly Parton will always love Whitney Houston.
For one thing, Parton was so blown away the first time she heard Whitney’s haunting version of her 1973 song, “I Will Always Love You” in Houston’s 1992 movie, “The Bodyguard,” that she told Oprah Winfrey last year she had to pull over the car she was driving so she wouldn’t crash it.
Houston’s version, which became one of the all-time biggest singles, also netted Parton, who’s a world-class songwriter in addition to being a singer, about $10 million in royalties in the 1990s and the checks keep coming.
Parton had a great idea about how to spend that money: She used it to help a Black neighborhood 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.’”
Last November, Parton, appearing on Apple TV+’s “The Oprah Conversation,” recalled what it was like the first time she heard Houston’s version of the song.
She said 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.”