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Dolly Parton

I Didn't Mean to Diss Whitney

'I Will Always Love You' Is OURS

2/17/2012 10:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

0217_dolly_parton_ex
Dolly Parton
is eating her words after calling "I Will Always Love You" HER song -- despite it being made famous by Whitney Houston -- and now tells TMZ, she's happy to share it with the late R&B legend.

Dolly took a lot of flack after her previous statement following Whitney's death -- "I will always be grateful and in awe of the wonderful performance she did on my song."

But Dolly's loosening her grip on her country classic -- telling us, "I did not know Whitney, nor any of her family personally; but she will always be a part of my heart and I will always be grateful for her awesome performance and success with our song “ (emphasis hers).

Dolly adds, "My heart is with Whitney and her family as they lay her to rest ... I Will Always Love You."

Dolly's original version of the song was released in 1974. Whitney famously covered the track in 1992 for "The Bodyguard."

517 COMMENTS

No Avatar
16.

DJ    

No disrespect... but it IS Dolly's song. No need to apologize for that one. RIP Whitney!

792 days ago
17.

Jeepers    

How stupid that people took offense. Dolly Parton wrote it and performed it LONG before Whitney Houston did it. She wrote the dang thing. Why on earth should she not be able to call it HER song? It is hers.

792 days ago
18.

Suzie    

Regardless of whose rendition you like better, the fact remains that Dolly Parton WROTE the song and retains the rights to the song, therefore, it is HER song. I don't see the issue here.

792 days ago
19.

JiLL1    

Oh good grief. She misspoke. She can't say anything w/o a bunch of self-righteous nuts jumping down her neck. She wrote it , it's not off the rails for her to consider it her song. It doesnt mean anything.

792 days ago
20.

NobodySpecial    

This is stupid, sure Whitney made the song famous but it is Dolly's song. I am sure if Whitney was alive today she would say the same thing.

792 days ago
21.

Truth    

WHAT A FAKE BITCH! IF SHE CALLS IT "OUR SONG" THEN DOES WHITNEY GET HALF THE PUBLISHING RIGHTS SINCE HER DEATH?? OF COURSE NOT... DOLLY COULD BE THAT GENEROUS IF SHE WANTED TOO BY GIVING WHITNEY'S ESTATE HALF THE WRITER'S CREDIT OR GIVE HALF THE ROYALTIES TO HER ESTATE. THAT AINT HAPPENING AS STATED IN HER FAKE PR AND PC STATEMENT. SMH. #TRUTH!!

792 days ago
22.

jack-55d79    

The origin of I Will Always Love You is important, but just like Prince's Nothing Compares To You (as sung by Sinead O'Connor), quite inexplicable. All talented people though and hitmakers.

792 days ago
23.

Tracy    

Well, it was very gracious of her to backpeddle, but I think it was completely understandable. It IS Dolly's song. Whitney performed a lovely rendition of the song that became a massive hit, but it's still Dolly's song, as the songwriter.

792 days ago
24.

SusanCoyote    

Leave Dolly alone! She is a true talent. She can actually write and read music. Clive Davis bought that song for Sweatney. Which is why Sweatney hasn't put anything out for 25 years - she couldn't afford to buy songs anymore.

792 days ago
25.

Chia    

What she said was correct, she wrote the song. It wasn't right to make that statement in regards to her death, but still, think, then own what you say. Hate when people do crap like this.

792 days ago
26.

UPYOURS    

She wrote it, its hers, only on loaner to those that used it.

792 days ago
27.

Renee Higgins    

It is "her" song. She wrote it. Dolly is being very gracious because Whitney just passed away but, Dolly wrote it and it is her song. Whitney is an artist who sang it and brought it to a larger audience but, it is Dolly's song. She owns it.

792 days ago
28.

ZRGB    

Dolly's version was just as good. She has a beautiful voice too and since she wrote it and had a hit with it, that means Whitney did not own the song and was just a cover. She is a great singer but when you cover a song, that's just what it is. A cover. An over processed cover. Dolly sang it with emotion and soul. She's a great singer in her own right. Black women are not the best singers in the world but it seems they think they are.

792 days ago
29.

Abi    

Dolly has always said that it was her song. Dolly wrote it, released it, and it is beautiful. Yes, Whitney's version is amazing, but ultimately, it is Dolly's song. End of argument.

792 days ago
30.

tattgirlsneedlove2    

Dolly Parton does not just own the rights to this song. This is HER song. Yes, Whitney is famous for performing Dolly's song, but this song actually had meaning to Dolly. She wrote it as a goodbye song to her long time singing partner who she was leaving to go out on her own. It is a deeply personal song for her that even Elvis wanted to record. Elvis did not get a chance to use her song because Elvis' management wanted to own the rights to the song after it was recorded and Dolly did not agree! Anyone who is a fan of country music knows this song is all Dolly Parton!! She owes no one an apology.

792 days ago
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