Dolly Parton invested the revenue from Whitney Houston’s hit cover of her song I Will Always Love You in a predominantly Black community in her hometown of Nashville, Tennesse.
During a video link appearance on Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live, Dolly Parton was questioned on what was “best thing” she’s purchased with her songwriting fortune.
The singer revealed that she bought a shopping complex in the Nashville community as a tribute to Whitney Houston, who popularised the song after covering it for the 1992 film, The Bodyguard.
“I thought, ‘Well, this is a wonderful place to be.’ I bought a property down in what was the Black area of town, and it was mostly just Black families and people that lived around there. It was just off the beaten path from 16th Avenue and I thought, ‘Well, I am gonna buy this place – the whole strip mall,'” she told Cohen.
“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 that money on a complex and I think, ‘This is the house that Whitney built.'”
Parton initially wrote and performed the song in 1973 for her album Jolene. Houston’s version soared to the top of the charts around the world, with the cover raking in an estimated $10 million (£7 million), according to Yahoo Finance.
Reports at the time claimed that Parton and Houston feuded over the song, but Houston shot down the speculation in a 1993 interview with Rolling Stone.
“I think Dolly Parton is a hell of a writer and a hell of a singer,” she explained. “I was concerned when I sang her song how she’d feel about it, in terms of the arrangement, my licks, my flavour. When she said she was floored, that meant so much to me.”