Dolly Parton Talks Using ‘I Will Always Love You’ Royalties To Support Black Neighborhood in Nashville

If you don’t know Dolly Parton, know that she’s a true humanitarian at heart and does a lot to help others.

On Thursday, Parton sat down with host Andy Cohen on “Watch What Happens Live” and answered some fun and personal questions about herself and her music career.

When asked by Cohen what’s the best thing she’s ever bought with her “I will always love you,” royalties, the 75-year-old singer, who also originally wrote and recorded it in 1973, responded by saying, “I bought my big office complex down in Nashville. So I thought, ‘Well, this is a wonderful place to be. I bought a property down in what was the Black area of town, and it was mostly just Black families and people that lived around there. It was off the beaten path from 16th Avenue, and I thought, ‘Well, I am gonna buy this place — the whole strip mall.’ And I thought, ‘This is the perfect place for me to be,’ considering it was Whitney.”

“I thought this was great — I’m just gonna be down here with her people, who are my people as well. So I just love the fact that I spent that money on a complex, and I think, ‘This is the house that Whitney built.’ ”

Forbes reported that the “Joline” singer made about $10 million in royalties from the song and continues to do so.

“You never know when you’re writing songs, how they’re going to turn out,” Parton recalled in September. “But after ‘I Will Always Love You’ became a worldwide thing [in 1992], it was in the movie [The] Bodyguard, and it was No. 1. I really felt my worth.”

“Whitney did such a fantastic job. And I thought, ‘Wow. I wrote that little song.’ That’s when I felt my worth as a songwriter. This is my gift, and I’m going to do the best I can with it.”

Parton also told Cohen that she wished she could have performed the song with Whitney Houston before she passed. “I was never asked to perform that with Whitney. I wish that could have happened. I would’ve loved that, but I don’t think I could’ve come up to [sing] with her, though — she would’ve outsung me on that one for sure.”


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