During an appearance on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen,” on Thursday, Parton told host Andy Cohen that she used the royalties from singer Whitney Houston’s rendition of her song “I Will Always Love You,” to purchase a strip mall in Nashville.
Parton said that the purpose of buying the strip mall was to interact with the Black community just as Houston would have wanted, she said.
“It was a whole strip mall, and I thought this is the perfect place for me to be, considering it was Whitney, so I just thought, ‘This is great, I’m just going to be down here with her people, who are my people as well,’ ” Parton told Cohen.
“I love the fact that I spent that money on a complex and I think, ‘This is the house that Whitney built.’ ”
“I Will Always Love You,” which Parton wrote in 1973, was used in the soundtrack for Houston’s 1992 rendition of the film “The Bodyguard” becoming a global hit that spent 14 weeks on the Billboard charts and winning Grammy award in 1993, multiple news outlets reported.
Houston died in 2012 at the age of 48.
Nashville historian Dave Ewing told the Post that when Parton bought the Sevier Park neighborhood complex in 1997, it was during a time when most recording artists would shy away from the area, adding that Parton revamped the landscapes of the neighborhood with that purchase.
“We’re just hearing now, because of the Black Lives Matter movement, how down for the cause Dolly has always been — even when others in the music industry weren’t,” Ewing told the Post.
“Dolly Parton could have built and bought any piece of property in Nashville. But you would have to have gone out of your way to buy in the 12 South neighborhood, because no Realtor would have shown Dolly that lot to buy,” he said.
Parton invested $1 million to help pharmaceutical company Moderna develop the COVID-19 vaccine and was a supporter for the Black Lives Matter movement, the Post noted.