Even if you"re somehow not a substantial fan the Whitney Houston, you"ve nearly certainly heard the track she"s most renowned for: the soul ballad "I Will always Love You." taped in 1992 as the signature solitary for the movie The Bodyguard, which co-starred Houston together Kevin Costner, "I Will constantly Love You" is just one of the best-selling singles of every time, follow to Billboard.

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While Houston"s haunting a cappella intro can be the an initial thing girlfriend think of when this quintessential love track springs come mind, that"s in reality not how the song originally sounded — and also Houston was hardly the first to ever sing it. The song first hit the airwaves almost twenty years prior as a country song, written and also performed by the patron saint that Dollywood herself, Dolly Parton. 

Though Houston might"ve popularized the track with her powerhouse vocals, soaring high notes, and also uniquely touching sense of sorrow, it was Parton who developed the structure for it. And also the reason Houston sang and recorded the tune for The Bodyguard in the very first place was, favor many good historical events, a complete accident.

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Strangely enough, Dolly Parton"s initial version the "I Will constantly Love You" wasn"t the inspiration for Whitney Houston"s cover. In fact, the cover originated from 2 unlikely sources: gibbs Kevin Costner and also rock star Linda Ronstadt.

According come The Hollywood Reporter, the track that became the apotheosis that Houston"s career was never originally plan to be on The Bodyguard"s soundtrack. Houston had originally plan on spanning the 1966 Motown ballad "What i do not care of the Brokenhearted" by singer Jimmy Ruffin, however her plans to be foiled after ~ production recorded word the the exact same song was set to be supplied for the score of the movie Fried environment-friendly Tomatoes. Scrambling to uncover a replacement, co-star Kevin Costner available up a variation of "I Will constantly Love You" covered by an additional performer in 1975 — the abovementioned Ronstadt. Through Parton"s blessing, the team moved forward, per CMT News.

Houston attracted from both Ronstadt and Parton"s execution for her cover, and also the resulting song ended up being the perfect fit for the film. As The Hollywood Reporter""s Joe Levy put it, "the doomed romantic of the lyric, and the way it"s at pains to find an excellent wishes in sadness, to the right the interracial Romeo-and-Juliet love story that the film lot better."

Besides Ronstadt and Houston, a number of artists have actually tried your luck at their very own versions the the soulful ode, including nation singers Kenny Rogers and also LeAnn Rimes and also pop symbol Beyoncé.

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In an April 2012 interview v Nightline (via The Hollywood Reporter), which singer-songwriter Dolly Parton offered only days after Whitney Houston died by inadvertently drowning in she bathtub, the nation music star expressed she grief over Houston"s unanticipated passing. She claimed that hear "I Will always Love You" in ~ Houston"s funeral almost broke her.

" just shattered me to hear that tune played under those conditions," Parton claimed at the time. "I assumed my heart to be gonna stop. It just pierced me favor a knife."

Parton additionally expressed a feeling of gratitude for how her song — initially released in 1974 and then re-recorded for the soundtrack because that The Best small Whorehouse in Texas in 1982, which the country singer starred in — would forever link the nation star come the late Houston.

"It"s just — i can"t define that feeling, come think the that to be so last for her, and also that that was mine words and also my feeling — I would forever be so linked to her," Parton added.

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Even if it was never ever intended to carry out so, Whitney Houston"s variation of "I Will constantly Love You" is symbolic of a sea readjust in the American social landscape in methods that tho reverberate today. Despite the song was initially written because that audiences of country music, Houston"s soulful, gospel-infused take made the emblematic the something larger than music.

As journalist and also critic Joe Levy composed in an evaluation of the ballad for The Hollywood Reporter, the 1992 variation of "I Will always Love You" shattered expectations of what was possible in music once it involved crossover very nice to various racial groups. Levy wrote, "Even if you never ever knew this to be a nation cover, the still crosswires genres and also audiences and upends the notion that black and white music (and audiences) don"t talk directly to every other." In retrospect, it"s coherent that Houston"s cover was released in the very same year as the Los Angeles riots, i m sorry erupted after a number of white police police officers were acquitted because that beating Rodney King, a black man.

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These days, crossover hits like Lil Nas X"s "Old city Road" are proof that the heritage of "I Will always Love You" stays on. With Houston"s unforgettable a cappella, it"s unlikely the fans will ever stop singing this special song.