Elvis Presley and Whitney Houston are two of the greatest American singers of all time. But did you know the amazing links between the two late stars?
In 1963, Whitney’s mother, Sissy Houston, became part of a supporting singer group called The Sweet Inspirations that performed all over the USA with some notable personalities such as Aretha Franklin. Elvis Presley was one of the other on his Las Vegas residency, which began in 1969.
Sissy, who said he wasn’t prejudiced, remembers jokes and was good-looking: “Elvis loved gospel music. He was brought up on it. And he really knew what he was talking about. He sang gospel all the time – almost everything he did had that flavor. You can’t turn away. What are your roots?
Dolly responded, “Well, this sheds new light on this because I can’t give you half the posting. I’ll leave that to my family. I can’t do that.”
Then the relentless director told her that the king couldn’t cover the song without these terms but the country star remained relentless and burst into tears.
Dolly shared: “I cried all night. Oh, I just filmed Elvis, like her singing. I know Elvis loved her. I know it wasn’t him, but it’s true. I said no.”
However, preserving the rights was largely paid for by Dolly when Whitney scored a cover for The Bodyguard in 1992.
Houston’s version of I Will Always Love You spent 14 record-breaking weeks at #1 on the US Billboard charts and is the best-selling single by a female artist and the sixth biggest single of all time with over 20 million sales. In fact, the cover beats Elvis’ now or never in seventh place.
Dolly later said that although she declined King’s offer of half of the copyright: “When Whitney [Houston’s version] I came out, I made enough money to buy Graceland.”