Elvis Presley Sang ‘I Will Always Love You’ to Priscilla When They Divorced, Says Dolly Parton

Elvis-and-Dolly - Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images/The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; Bettman/Getty Images
Elvis-and-Dolly - Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images/The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; Bettman/Getty Images

Elvis Presley serenaded Priscilla one last time after their divorce.

Dolly Parton sat down with BBC Radio 2 and revealed that Priscilla Presley told her that Elvis sang Parton’s song “I Will Always Love You” to Priscilla during their divorce in 1973.

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“Elvis loved the song. In fact, I talked to Priscilla not very long ago,” Parton told the outlet. “She said to me, ‘You know, Elvis sang that song to me when we were walking down the courthouse steps when we got divorced. He was singing to me ‘I Will Always Love You.'”

Parton previously revealed this fun fact back in 2020 when she spoke to Big Issue and said that the anecdote “really touched me.”

Presley has a past with the song too. Parton has previously revealed that Presley originally had the intention of recording the song himself, but Parton would not let it go because of Colonel Tom Parker.

“He loved the song, wanted to do it, had it worked up. They called me to come down to the studio to meet him and hear the song,” Parton explained to BBC. “And that night Colonel Parker says, ‘We don’t record anything with Elvis unless we have publishing on it. Or at least half the publishing.’

“And I said this is the most important publishing copyright and I can’t do that,” she added. “He said, ‘Well, we can’t do it.’ And I was heartbroken. I always wanted to hear how Elvis did it.”

Parton explained that she later had a dream of Presley singing the song, which inspired a tune of its own that is featured on her upcoming album Rockstar.

The love story of Priscilla and Elvis is the subject of the new movie Priscilla, directed by Sofia Coppola. During its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, Priscilla Presley told reporters that her relationship with Elvis — which started when she was 14 — wasn’t about sex. “People think, ‘Oh, it was sex,’ ‘It was this.’ Not at all. I never had sex with him,” she said. “He was very kind, very soft, and very loving, but he also respected the fact that I was 14 years old. We were more in mind and thought, and that was our relationship.”

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