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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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106.

Wang Bang    

Dolly has no need to 'eat her words' since she wrote and recorded the song. This is simply more TMZ stupidity that this time is borderline racist against a white entertainer.

876 days ago
107.

Marquita    

It's nothing wrong with what she said it is Dolly song!!!!!!!!!!

876 days ago
108.

fishgeek    

With all due respect to Whitney, it WAS and IS Dolly's song. Dolly used to sing it at the end of her television show when I was a kid and I fell in love with it back then... 18 YEARS before Whitney sang her version. The fact that Whitney sang a version of it that became quite popular does not create some sort of space-time continuum wherein reality changes itself to suit the comfort of the masses.

876 days ago
109.

Really?    

The tabloids spread these same lies when this song was a single nearly 20 years ago. Dolly used it for concert banter in the 90s, joking that there never was a disagreement..."but I don't care if Whitney calls it her song, as long as she keeps sending me my checks."

Oh, and for those that think Dolly should donate her income from the song to Whitney's favorite charity, Dolly already does more charity work than probably any other celebrity, however unlike most celebrities most of her philanthropic work is unpublicized. However, her main charity involves her Imagination Library program that gives books to all children in participating areas from the time they are born until they start kindergarten. They have given away more than 40,000,000 books since the program started in 1996. She is an extremely charitable human and let's be honest, Whitney's favorite charity was Whitney.

876 days ago
110.

freebird1128    

Of course it's Dolly Partons song. The woman wrote it. Whitney just made it popular. It's too bad she felt pressured to apologize. I'd never make it in the spotlight....I'd piss too many people off all the time.

876 days ago
111.

bghs1986    

Dolly!! It's YOUR SONG. Your wrote it. Whitney BUTCHERED it. Anyone who thinks Whit can sing better than Dolly, I suggest arranging a competition. Oh that's right, only one of those cared enough about her voice not to do drugs and alcohol was Dolly. Right now Whitney can't out sing me.

876 days ago
112.

Frank    

Oh, come ON! Dolly didn't do anything wrong. People are so hypersensitive in attempting to balance the tragedy of Whitney's drug abuse with the Diva Whitney who gave the world joy through her music. It's Dolly's song, Whitney sang it and they both made a ton of money. Who cares at this point. Focus, people. Focus!

876 days ago
113.

FLO    

Dolly Parton wrote and made the song a hit way before Whitney appeared in The Bodyguard. So Yes it is Whitney's version of Dolly's song that was used to promote Whitney and the movie. As she said many time, Whitney's version brought her a lot of money in royalties.

876 days ago
114.

Gretel    

I knew Dolly wrote the song but I wasn't sure of the timeline so I looked it up and it was in 1973! Whitney Houston was 10 years old then. It was a country song originally. Whitney does own it though, vocally, but especially now that Whitney is dead and that is apparently her "signature song" and it's all you hear Dolly can rest on the residuals from that song alone. But Dolly honey, you have crossed the line with plastic surgery. You've gone from being cute to being kind of freaky looking. That makes me feel bad.

876 days ago
115.

ChinLee3    

Whitney never wrote a song, sad but her daughter and her estate will never again see a penny from her career.

876 days ago
116.

Jane    

It was Dolly's song, lock, stock and barrel. She wrote and sang it. Whitney did a wonderful version of it and revived it, but it was not her creation.

876 days ago
117.

Carl    

She shouldn't apologize. It is HER song. Whitney did an amazing rendition of it, but Dolly wrote it and sang it first. Whitney did a COVER of Dolly's song. Most covers are lousy, hers was good, but I've never heard of a cover band being seen as the "owner" of a song on equal grounds with the originator.

876 days ago
118.

Ron in SF    

Whitney was lifted up singing "I will always love you" by standing on Dolly's shoulders. Whitney took this song to heights that Dolly never could, yet, she wrote it and she is not being vain when she says it's her song. Without Dolly, we would never have had the chance to marvel at the wonderful version that Whitney sang and the world enjoyed.

876 days ago
119.

KAT    

DOLLY WROTE IT SHE SUNG IT AND SHE MADE IT A HIT. SO IT IS DOLLIES SONG LATTER SUNG BY WHITNEY AND MADE A HIT AGAIN. ALL IN ALL IT IS DOLLIES SONG.

876 days ago
120.

Dennis    

People are getting out of hand over Whitneys death. This is ridiculous. It's Dollys song no matter what. and yes Whitney did the best COVER of this song. Get over it. People are just mad cause Dolly gets royalties from this song. It is her song after all. Dolly even credits Whitney for doing this song the best.

876 days ago
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