Patti Labelle recently claimed that Whitney Houston’s popular hit song “I Will Always Love You,” which was written and sang first by Dolly Parton was originally written for her to cover.
“Dolly Parton, a long time ago, said ‘Patti I want you to cover this song,'” LaBelle said during a recent interview. “And so I said of course, yes, because I love the song. But then something happened. The movie [The Bodyguard] came. Whitney killed it, and I’m still sitting.”
“So it was supposed to be your song?” LaBelle was asked. “Yes,” she replied.
“Did you ever talk to Whitney about that?” LaBelle was then asked.
“I was happy she did it because she did a phenomenal job but I still want to do it,” LaBelle responded.
“No way,” LaBelle said after she was then asked if she felt she could have done a better job than Houston. “No. She killed it. She slayed it. I can do my job on it but not like her.”
The “If Only You Knew” singer was then asked if she’s ever felt competitive during her career. “I love competition but I don’t like to show off,” LaBelle said before talking about how various younger artists are like her children.
Soulful singers Fantasia and Jennifer Hudson were mentioned by LaBelle as being like her daughters.
During the interview, LaBelle also discussed what it was like watching her peers such as Aretha Franklin and Diahann Caroll pass. She said that people have no clue what celebrities like them were battling. She also said that watching her peers die doesn’t make her feel closer to death and that she sees herself living for another hundred years.
After talking about Caroll and Franklin’s death, she also addressed the long-time rumors that she and Franklin had beef with each other. “That’s such a lie. We got along, but I think she was going through something,” LaBelle said referencing a viral video of Franklin passing by LaBelle without speaking during an event at The White House.
Patti LaBelle was promoting her new frozen mac-n-cheese and double-crust peach cobbler that’s currently available at Walmart and just in time for the holidays during the interview.
Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” was released in 1968 while Houston’s cover was released in 1992 and appeared on the soundtrack of The Bodyguard which Houston also starred in alongside Kevin Costner.
“I Will Always Love You” was also covered by various other artists over the years such as Gloria Gaynor, KeKe Wyatt, Nora Collins, Samantha Harvey, and Michael Bolton, among others. Perhaps LaBelle will eventually record her version.