Dolly Parton almost sold "I Will Always Love You" to Elvis Presley and Whitney Houston would’ve never sung it!
Parton wrote the song and recorded it on her 1974 album "Jolene." It was her 13th album! The song went to number one on the country charts and Parton made a name for herself.
Although it's a love song, the song isn't about two passionate lovers parting ways, like Houston’s music video interpreted it. The song was originally about Dolly Parton parting ways with her partner and mentor Porter Wagoner.
Elvis Presley called Parton and asked to cover the song. Parton was extremely excited and all for it. The problem was that Elvis’ manager, Tom Parker, wouldn’t let him cover the song unless he was given 50% of the publishing royalties.
Parton had a strong rule against selling her publishings and had to decline the offer, even though it killed her. Parton re-recorded the song in 1982 for a film she was working on. Again, it shot to number one on the country charts.
The song made Dolly the first artist to ever earn a number one single twice with the same song. In 1992, Houston planned on using "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" as the single for the "The Bodyguard" starring her and Kevin Costner.
Houston found out it’d been used the year before in "Fried Green Tomatoes" and decided she couldn’t use it. Costner introduced her to "I Will Always Love You" and Houston loved the song. She rearranged it as a soul ballad and it became number one a third time. It became the first song to make number one three times and went on to become one of the biggest singles in music history.
Here's a video of Dolly Parton singing the song