What do you get when you take one country music legend, one young country star, and one iconic country hit? Spectacular magic. And such was the case when Carrie Underwood performed “I Will Always Love You” with the legendary Dolly Parton. And despite Underwood being decades younger, Parton knew exactly how to steal the show.
“I Will Always Love You”
Dolly Parton both wrote and recorded “I Will Always Love You” in 1973. She wrote the song as a farewell to her musical partner of seven years, Porter Wagner.
As she explained in an interview, “It’s saying, ‘Just because I’m going don’t mean I won’t love you. I appreciate you, and I hope you do great, and I appreciate everything you’ve done, but I’m out of here,'” Parton said. “[That’s] basically what I was saying. And I took it in the next morning. I said, ‘Sit down, Porter. I’ve written this song, and I want you to hear it.’ So I did sing it. And he was crying. He said, ‘That’s the prettiest song I ever heard. And you can go, providing I get to produce that record.’ And he did, and the rest is history.”
Thrice Times A Hit
The song was a huge commercial success for Parton. She achieved the No. 1 spot on the charts when the song released in 1974. Then she went to No. 1 again with it in 1982 after it was part of the soundtrack for The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Notably, this made Parton the first artist in history to achieve the top spot twice with the same song.
“I Will Always Love You” came back in a big way when Whitney Houston recorded it as part of the soundtrack for the Bodyguard. Her version put it at the top spot for the third time. And though many people now may regard it as Houston’s song, it will always be Parton’s.
Carrie Underwood Recognizes the Moment
When Carrie Underwood sat next to Dolly Parton on that stage, she said something anyone in that situation would be thinking. “This is every girl’s dream.” Of course, Parton never lets a moment get too serious. She joked about how Underwood could play her in a movie. “We’ll just get you a big ol’ bra,” she told the young star.
Then the two launched into a spectacular rendition of “I Will Always Love You”. Parton’s voice soared and Underwood gave her the due deference. And it reminded us exactly why we will always love Parton and her song.
You can watch their performance in the video below.