Dolly Parton Invested Royalties from Whitney Houston Song to Black Community
Singer and songwriter Dolly Parton revealed that she’d invested royalties from Whitney Houston’s cover of “I Will Always Love You” to a local Black community in Nashville, according to the Washington Post.
Parton was on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen on Thursday when she revealed that she bought a strip mall in the city’s Sevier Park neighborhood with the money earned from Houston’s rendition of the song.
“It was a whole strip mall, and I thought this is the perfect place for me to be, considering it was Whitney, so I just thought, ‘This is great, I’m just going to be down here with her people, who are my people as well,’” Parton said.
The “Jolene” singer wrote “I Will Always Love You” in 1973. The song exploded in popularity when Houston covered it for the film The Bodyguard in 1992.
The song won a Grammy in 1993 and spent 14 weeks at the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100.
“We’re just hearing now, because of the Black Lives Matter movement, how down for the cause Dolly has always been— even when others in the music industry weren’t,” Nashville historian David Ewing told the Post. “Dolly Parton could have built and bought any piece of property in Nashville. But you would have to have gone out of your way to buy in the 12 South neighborhood because no realtor would have shown Dolly that lot to buy.”