Dolly Parton has revealed her determination to be a global superstar and why she turned down Elvis Presley in The Big Issue’s Letter To My Younger Self.
Parton – who recently was widely praised for her $1 million donation to a promising Covid-19 vaccine trial – told Jane Graham in an exclusive interview that she “just had a feeling inside my gut” that she was destined to be a singer.
“I know who I am. I know what I’m not. I know what I can and cannot do. I don’t get myself involved in things that I know are out of my realm. But if there’s something I can do and I want to do, hell or high water ain’t gonna stop me.”
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This mentality and belief in her principles, she said, was part of the reason she refused Elvis Presley the chance to cover one of her most famous songs, I Will Always Love You.
“I’d been invited down to the studio to meet Elvis and be there when he sang my song. That was the most exciting thing that had ever happened to me. Who doesn’t love Elvis?
“But then Colonel [Tom Parker, Elvis Presley’s manager] called me the afternoon before the session and said, you do know we have to have at least half the publishing on any song that Elvis records? And I said no, I did not know that. He said, well, it’s just a rule. So I said, well, it’s not my rule.”