Dolly Parton's ‘heartbreaking’ decision to turn down Elvis Presley

Country 09/10/2018

It may sound hard to imagine anyone turning down Elvis Presley, but Dolly Parton has revealed it's what she was forced to do to The King in 1974.

The country star revealed that when Elvis was going to record his cover Dolly's hit song 'I Will Always Love You', but only if she were to give up the rights to her song.

"His manager Colonel Parker called me up the day before he was due to record the song and said, “Now you know Elvis has to have the publishing rights or at least half the publishing rights of any song he records”,' she said. 

"I was desperate for Elvis to sing my song and I’d told everyone he was going to sing it, but I couldn’t let that happen. It’s my song, my publishing rights."

It broke my heart but I had to turn him down.


The song was covered in 1992 by Whitney Houston, and went on to earn Dolly Parton $30 million (NZD) in royalties, so she isn't completely regretful for the decision - nor does she mind when people think the song belongs to Whitney.

She told Event magazine: "People say it’s Whitney’s song, and that’s all right as long as they send the cheques to me!"