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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

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46.

Cheryl     

Dolly should have sang it at the Grammy's. Was she even asked?

878 days ago
47.

Cheermjm    

Dolly wrote the song and preformed it in one of her movies. If you listen to Dolly sing the song it is very soft and Whitney did her verision very loud and powerful almost a different song. Dolly song she wrote it. All Whitney did was sing it a different way. I am tired of people saying Whitney's song. Give Dolly her credit. She owes nothing to anyone.

878 days ago
48.

KarlaFish    

How is that a disrespectful comment from Dolly? IT IS HER SONG!! Whitney just covered it - very beautifully, of course - but Dolly is responsible for creating the song in the first place!!!!

878 days ago
49.

lalaland    

What the hell is wrong with her saying she loved what Whitney did with her song? She wrote it, it's hers. Frankly, I prefer her singing it too but I'm not a fan of the 'power' vocalists, such as Whitney Houston and Celine Dion. They give me a headache.

878 days ago
50.

Kiko    

If Dolly hadn't written that song, Whitney would basically have ended up being Donna Summer of the 90's.

878 days ago
51.

Truth    

WHITNEY'S VERSION SCORED #1 BILLBOARD HOT 100 CHARTS. DOLLY'S SCORED #1 ON COUNTRY CHARTS BACK IN '74. APPLES AND ORANGES, NOT EVEN CLOSE. AS WHIT WOULD SAY TO BOBBY "KISS MA ASS!!" #TRUTH!!

878 days ago
52.

DJ    

I remember the first time I heard Whitney's version of "I Will Always Love You"... I was in college & it came on the radio. I immediately called my sister and said, "I just heard Whitney Houston singing Dolly Parton's song 'I Will Always Love You' on the radio! It was beautiful!" The bottom line is that it IS Dolly's song. I don't think she was being malicious or misspoke. It'd be different if she emphasized the world "MY" when she said it, but I doubt she did that.

878 days ago
53.

Kiko    

Yes, Whitney's version OF DOLLY PARTON'S SONG, Hit #1.

878 days ago
54.

Tracy    

The bigger headline here is that nearly 100% of TMZ commenters are in agreement on this issue. :)

878 days ago
55.

janet    

@cheryl... you just read my mind.


That's the first thing I thought. Parton should have sang her song it's origionl version as Parton wrote it, sung and recorded it, at the Grammys. Nothing to do with vocal range.


Dolly Parton's song from beginning to end. Parton didn't disrespect anyone. No Dolly Parton that's your song.

878 days ago
56.

Big D    

Dolly has nothing to apologize for, she wrote the song and released it first. It's her song, Whitney only re-released the song because of the movie. If it wasn't for the Movie she probably would of never recorded it. Bottom line "Dolly's" song not Whitney's.

878 days ago
57.

Miamimimi    

@ Truth, don't shout dear. It doesn't become you. Just like Whitney belted the song out, it didn't convey the emotions Dolly put into the song. I loved the way Glee portrayed the song, well sung and filled with feeling.

RIP Whitney you were a great singer and I will keep listening to you sing for a long time to come

878 days ago
58.

BillTampaBay    

I'm grieving along with the world over losing Whitney, but regarding the "backlash" against Dolly I gotta say.. Dolly was not that out of line. It was her song, she wrote it and it was a "Country" HIT. Granted Whitney's version was a world wide smash but it did not take away Dolly's right's to the song, so this seems to be an insensitive and unfair jab at Dolly. She meant no disrespect by claiming what is hers.

878 days ago
59.

Rockachaw    

Who is getting the money? Not Whitney or her estate. Dolly Parton is getting big checks, because she wrote the song. The song never existed till Dolly wrote it. Whitney's family should be thankful that people wrote songs for her to sing.

878 days ago
60.

Meanie    

I seem to recall Whitney making the mistake calling it "her" song.

878 days ago
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