Dolly Parton Regrets She Never Had a Duet With Whitney Houston

by Jonathan Howard
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for ACM)

Despite a prolific and legendary country music career, Dolly Parton isn’t without regrets. One of those regrets is a missed duet. Of course, there’s one artist that was able to take a Dolly hit and make it into something entirely their own. When Whitney Houston mastered “I Will Always Love You,” many thought we could see her team up with the Queen of Country.

It just wasn’t something that ever came to fruition and now, we kind of know why. That doesn’t make it any less of a regret for Dolly Parton.

“I was never asked to perform that with Whitney,” she said on Watch What Happens Live. “I wish that could’ve happened, I would have loved that, but I don’t think I could’ve come up to snuff with her, though. She’d have out-sung me on that one for sure.”

The 1973 hit was big for Dolly. She was in the process of ending her working relationship with Porter Wagoner. Of course, Wagoner was a major part of Parton’s early career and success, serving as a mentor in life and business. Almost twenty years later, Houston would bring the song back in a major way.

I’m not sure a song cut for a movie soundtrack could become a major hit like “I Will Always Love You,” did. Houston recorded it for The Bodyguard, which featured Kevin Costner. However, it is undeniable that the R&B superstar turned it on its head and made it her own. Those powerful vocals are once in a generation.

It really is a shame that a Dolly Parton x Whitney Houston version of the song never came to fruition. However, Dolly has some other regrets.

Dolly Parton’s Least Favorite Songs of Her Own

While these aren’t really regrets, these are songs that Dolly Parton herself has pointed out in the past that she doesn’t really care for. When you have the catalog that she does, you won’t like everything you put out. Attitudes might even change over time. However, there are two songs that stick out.

If you didn’t know, Dolly’s uncle Bill had a habit of writing as well. The two worked on a song, “I’ll Oilwells Love You,” a bit of a parody. It’s funny and goofy and not really one of the most popular songs that she ever put out.

Then there’s “I Don’t Want to Throw Rice” a little bit of a vengeful tune. Something about a broken heart will make folks do all kinds of crazy things. “No I don’t want to throw rice / I want to throw rocks at her.” That’s quite a turn for the usual Dolly. Feels more like a Loretta Lynn song if you ask me.

Hey, they can’t all be big hits.