Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” Was Released 50 Years Ago

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It’s been 50 years since Dolly Parton wrote and released the iconic track “I Will Always Love You,” and it still holds just as much power now as it ever did.

Dolly Released “I Will Always Love You” 50 Years Ago

On February 4, 1974, country music legend Dolly Parton released her 13th solo album titled Jolene, which would become one of Dolly’s most popular album releases of her career. A particular standout track from “Jolene” is the timeless ballad, “I Will Always Love You.”


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Written by Dolly herself, this emotional track reportedly serves as a farewell to her longtime mentor and collaborator, Porter Wagoner, as she went on to pursue a solo career. Filled with raw emotion, the song grasps the bittersweet feeling that Dolly carried as she parted ways while expressing her endless gratitude for the guidance and support she received from Wagnor.

The song proved to be a hit for Parton, topping the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart twice—first in June 1974 and then again in October 1982. Despite facing pressure from the industry later on, including interest from big names like Elvis Presley who wanted to record the song, Dolly was determined to hold onto the rights to “I Will Always Love You.”

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“I Will Always Love You” gained renewed popularity when Whitney Houston delivered a soulful rendition for the movie “The Bodyguard” in the early ’90s. Houston’s version dominated the charts, holding the number-one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for an impressive 14 weeks and becoming the best-selling single by a woman in the United States at that time.

Throughout the years, “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You” have continued to captivate audiences, solidifying Dolly Parton’s legacy as a legendary songwriter and performer in the world of music.

Listen to Dolly sing “I Will Always Love You” below.

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