Dolly Parton Used ‘I Will Always Love You’ Royalties For Black Community

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Legendary singer-songwriter Dolly Parton recently revealed what she did with the royalties from the smash hit “I Will Always Love You” that Whitney Houston famously (and flawlessly) covered. 

The country singer told Andy Cohen she used the royalty money to buy an office building that was in a Black neighborhood in Nashville, Tennessee. 

“I bought my big office complex down in Nashville,” Parton, 75, told Cohen on the Thursday (July 29) episode of Watch What Happens Live. “So I thought, ‘What a wonderful place to be,’” she added. “I bought a property down in the Black area of town, and it was mostly just Black families and people that lived around there. It was off the beaten path from 16th Avenue and I thought, ‘Well, I am gonna buy this place –– the whole strip mall.’ And I thought, ‘This is the perfect place for me to be,’ considering it was Whitney.” 

“I thought this was great –– I’m just gonna be down here with her people, who are my people as well. So I just love the fact that I spent money on a complex and I think, ‘This is the house that Whitney built.’”

Forbes reported that Parton made about $10 million from Whitney Houston’s 1992 version of the song and the country singer still makes money from the timeless ballad. 

Parton wrote and released the song in 1973. Houston covered the song for the film The Bodyguard in which she also starred. 

“You never know when you’re writing songs, how they’re going to turn out,” Parton told People in September 2020. “But after ‘I Will Always Love You’ became a worldwide thing [in 1992], it was in the movie [The] Bodyguard, and it was No. 1. I really felt my worth.”

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