Dolly Parton Makes Kelly Clarkson Emotional With Heartfelt Praise

Dolly Parton had Kelly Clarkson close to tears as the country music icon praised her stunning rendition of her son "I Will Always Love You." Parton sat down with the "Because of You" singer for Thursday's new episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show, where she gushed over Whitney Houston's cover of her classic song, as well as Clarkson's performance of it at the ACM Awards in March. 

"When you sang that song, when you did that at the Academy of Country Music Awards, when you did that at the end, I mean to tell you ...Whitney, she would have been so proud of you," Parton told a choked-up Clarkson. "Because I felt like she was watching you. You absolutely killed it. Seriously, it was so incredible and I was so emotional."

Adding to the memorable moment, Parton then convinced Clarkson to harmonize with her to perform a portion of the song, which again brought Clarkson close to crying. "You're like a magical fairy human," Clarkson told Parton of the emotional exchange.

The "9 to 5" singer also reflected on Houston's rendition of "I Will Always Love You" for The Bodyguard, which would go on to land at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for 14 straight weeks. "When they were doing The Bodyguard movie, they had chosen another song for the theme song [initially]," Parton said, continuing that even after making their first choice, the people behind the film continued the search. "Kevin Costner and his secretary said, 'Do you remember Dolly Parton's song, 'I Will Always Love You?' It's a country song, but it's a beautiful song.' So they called me to see if they could use it, and I said yes."

"I didn't hear anything else about it. I didn't know if they had it, if they had done it," Parton continued. "And I was driving my car ... and I was just driving along and I had the radio on, and I just heard ... and that's the first time. They didn't send it to me or nothing. I heard it on the radio." Hearing Houston's cover of the song, Parton "just freaked out" at first. "I had to pull over to the side because I honestly thought I'd was gonna wreck," she added. "It was the most overwhelming feeling."