Dolly Parton said she had an emotional reaction to Jennifer Hudson performing "I Will Always Love You" in tribute to the late Whitney Houston at the Grammys on February 12.
Parton wrote and originally performed "I Will Always Love You" in 1974 for her 13th studio album "Jolene." She later rerecorded the song in 1982 when it was included on the soundtrack of the film "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," starring Parton and Burt Reynolds.
"I was brought to tears again last night, as I'm sure many were, when Jennifer Hudson sang 'I Will Always Love You' on the Grammys in memory of Whitney," Parton said in a statement obtained by OnTheredCarpet.com on February 13.
Houston became famous for the song, which was recorded for "The Bodyguard" soundtrack in 1992. Houston's version spent 14 weeks in the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
"Like everybody else, I am still in shock [about Houston's death]. But I know that Whitney will live forever in all the great music that she left behind," Parton added. "I will always have a very special piece of her in the song we shared together and had the good fortune to share with the world."
Houston died at age 48 at a hotel in Beverly Hills, California on Saturday, February 11, a day before the 2012 Grammy Awards. Hudson was picked at the last minute to sing "I Will Always Love You," in honor of Houston during the "In Memoriam" segment of the show.
The "American Idol" alum was presented with a Grammy by Houston at the 2009 ceremony and whose long-ranging voice has been compared to the late singer's. Hudson also performed a tribute to Houston at the 2010 BET Honors in Washington in 2010.
Grammy Award host LL Cool J also kicked off the ceremony with a special prayer for Houston and her family.
Update: In the original story we wrote "I Will Always Love You" was originally written and performed by Parton in 1976. The correct date is 1973. The article has been updated to reflect that correction.