has revealed why she never let one of her most famous songs be covered by in the early 1970s.
The , 77, has just announced a new album, Rockstar, a covers album which features names such as , Debbie Harry, and Sting.
While discussing the new album, which is due for release in November, on Radio 2, she also let slip a backstage secret that she’s held onto for 50 years.
Elvis Presley, the music legend who died in 1977, was apparently a huge fan of Dolly’s 1973 song I Will Always Love You, but never recorded a proper version.
The song was later turned into a smash hit by Whitney Houston, who took the song to number one in dozens of countries and sold millions of copies.
So why did Elvis not get to record a version at the time of the original song’s release, despite being a huge fan of Dolly and her music?
Dolly revealed all, clarifying that it wasn’t necessarily Elvis that she turned down: ‘I wouldn’t let Colonel Tom Parker [have the rights to the song].’
She continued: ‘Elvis loved it. I talked to Priscilla not very long ago – she said “Elvis sang it to me when we were on the courthouse steps after we got divorced”.’
‘He loved the song and wanted to do it. Had it worked up. They’d already called me to come down to the studio and to hear part of the song.’
But then Parker got involved: ‘The night before, Tom Parker calls me and says, “We don’t anything with Elvis unless we have the publishing on it”.’
Dolly says she responded by saying she couldn’t give up the copyright to the song, at which point Parker said he couldn’t agree to her terms.
Parker, who died in 1997, was Presley’s manager and has often been portrayed as a greedy man and a negative influence on the Jailhouse Rock singer.
He was most recently played by Tom Hanks in the 2022 Elvis biopic, directed by Baz Luhrmann, which received acclaim at the time of its release.