Dolly Parton Regrets Not Having Duet With Whitney Houston on 'I Will Always Love You'

Dolly Parton and Whitney Houston are legends who never had the opportunity to perform the hit single "I Will Always Love You" together. In a recent interview with Watch What Happens Live, Parton revealed that she was never approached to perform the song with Houston. While she admits the Waiting to Exhale star would have outperformed her vocally, she still would have liked to have sung it with her.

"I was never asked to perform that with Whitney," Parton revealed. "I wish that could've happened, I would have loved that, but I don't think I could've come up to snuff with her, though. She'd have out-sung me on that one for sure." 

Parton penned "I Will Always Love You" in 1973 to say goodbye to Porter Wagoner, her mentor and business partner. The song was a major hit, topping the Billboard Hot Country Songs twice. But the track gained newfound popularity when Houston recorded it.

Houston recorded "I Will Always Love You" for The Bodyguard in 1992, catapulting Parton's song to fame. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 charts for 14 consecutive weeks and became a worldwide hit. As well as being certified diamond, the song won Houston a Grammy for Record of the Year.

Parton has always praised Houston for her song rendition and even personally called the singer to express her gratitude. She told in a February 2019 interview that it was actually her favorite rendition of one of her songs.

"I will always treasure, and should, the big crossover with Whitney on 'I Will Always Love You,' because that really put me in the forefront as a writer and an artist and I think it made a lot of people see me as a writer," Parton said. "I was just a girl with the big hair and big t– and a big personality, but I think that one kind of pointed a finger at me as a serious songwriter and the fact that it did so well and I was so touched by it and so honored by it that. That one will stand out in my mind forever." 

After her version of "I Will Always Love You" was released, Houston spoke with Rolling Stone about the country star. "I think Dolly Parton is a hell of a writer and a hell of a singer," Houston shared. "I was so concerned when I sang her song how she'd feel about it, in terms of the arrangement, my licks, my flavor. When she said she was floored, that meant so much to me."