Nashville, TN

Dolly Parton invested 'I Will Always Love You' royalties in the Black Nashville neighborhood

Kelleigh Michanichou

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NASHVILLE, TN — Dolly Parton recently revealed that she has used some royalties from Whitney Houston’s cover of “I Will Always Love You” for an office complex in a black neighborhood in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, producer and actress had written “I Will Always Love You” in 1972 and presented the song in 1973 to her business partner.

Then in 1992, Whitney Houston sang a cover of the song for the romantic drama “The Bodyguard” and it became a worldwide hit, with 14 weeks at the top of the US Billboard Hot 100. From the cover alone, Parton earned $10 million in royalties in the 1990s.

During Parton's appearance at the “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen,” aired on July 30, she said she wants to pay tribute to the black singer who made her song famous.

To honor Houston, who died in 2012, Parton invested the money for a whole strip mall in the black community area in Nashville, TN.

“I just thought, ‘This was great. I'm going to be down here with her people, who are my people as well.’ 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,’” said Parton in the interview.

The singer-songwriter also revealed that she wished she could perform “I Will Always Love You” together with Whitney Houston. Parton completed the song on the same day when she wrote her other major hits “Jolene” in 1972.

Last April 2020, Parton also donated some money for coronavirus research to Vanderbilt University, which later funded the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

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