'I Will Always Love You': Iconic Single By Dolly Parton Tells A Story Of Her Own Heartbreak

Date December 19, 2017

25 years ago, people have heard Whitney Houston's iconic single I Will Always Love You playing in the background of the Bodyguard film. But the song was actually Houston's cover version of a much older hit written and recorded by the legendary country singer and a great philanthropist Dolly Parton.


And the story behind its creation is just as touching as the love story recreated on the screen by Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner.

In an interview with CMT, Dolly even admitted that this single probably has earned her more money than the rest of her songs.

Of course, ‘I Will Always Love You’ is the biggest song so far in my career,” she said. “But that song did come from a true and deep place in my heart.

And the song was, indeed, revealing some of the deepest feelings of its creator.

Expressing everything she could not say

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Dolly Parton wrote her most famous hit in one sitting. At the moment, she felt a strong, nearly desperate need to leave Porter Wagoner Show where she has spent the last seven years of her life. She wanted to start her own career but could not convince Porter Wagoner that it would be better for both of them. Tired and exhausted from constant arguing, Dolly went home and wrote a song that would reveal all of her feelings and emotions.

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The song had several purposes: on one hand, it was stating her need to leave and start over, but on the other hand, it was also Dolly's way to say the man “thank you” for all the years they had together.

Just because I’m going don’t mean I won’t love you. I appreciate you and I hope you do great and I appreciate everything you’ve done, but I’m out of here.

The next day, she played her new song to Porter. When Dolly finished it, the man was crying. Years later, the legendary singer would recall that moment in an interview:

That’s the prettiest song I ever heard. And you can go, providing I get to produce that record.

The song became an instant hit. It made it to the first place in the U.S. country chart in 1974 and 1982. But the biggest success was not the original song but the cover released by Whitney Houston in 1992.

Whitney's version of the dramatic ballad won two Grammies and became one of the best-selling singles of all time.

Staying friends for the rest of their lives

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But for Dolly Parton, this song will always be a tribute to the most important man in her life, “outside of her husband and father,” as Closer Weekly puts it.

Dolly and Porter managed to part on good terms and remain friends for the rest of their lives. And this is what Dolly Parton is like in everything she does: sincere, kindhearted, and doing her best to make this world a better place.

READ ALSO: Celebrating 25 Years Of ‘The Bodyguard’ Movie: 4 Interesting Facts And Little-Known Details About The Hollywood Classics

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