Whitney Houston Death Results In Royalties For Dolly Parton
I am a huge fan of Dolly Parton, and I actually play her music on my Sunday Morning show. Recently, the Country Music Hall of Famer made headlines surrounding the death of Whitney Houston. Here’s the scoop- Much like when Michael Jackson or Johnny Cash died, Whintey Houston’s songs have become popular all over again. Since her death, Houston’s hits have received increased spins on the radio, have been featured in television performances, and have seen huge number of digital downloads. However, unlike Jackson or Cash, Houston was not a songwriter, so her estate will not see any of the royalties. In fact, the pop icon died broke.
I am a huge fan of Dolly, and in no way is this article meant to jab my favorite Country Diva. Furthermore, I am not implying that she doesn’t deserve the credit. Dolly deserves every penny for writing this classic and the other great things that she’s done through the years (that I’ve frequently blogged about). Moreover, I am not implying that one did a better job than the other, I am simply sharing why Dolly Parton will see an increase in royalites.
According to TasteofCountry.com, Houston was only a singer, and not a songwriter. Thus, she didn’t own the songwriting or publishing rights to many of her biggest songs. In fact, Whitney’s most famous song, ‘I Will Always Love You,’was written by Dolly Parton, who had first scored a number one hit with the tune in 1974. The ‘9 to 5′ singer originally wrote the song as a farewell to Porter Wagoner as she prepared for a solo career, Wagoner was Dolly’s long-time duet partner, and he’s credited for launching her career on his syndicated television show. Dolly earns about eight cents every time the song is played, making Houston’s death extremely lucrative for the country legend.
According to The Huffington Post, since Houston never had the ability to make money off of her publishing rights, she was broke at the time of her death. Rob Shuter at the Huffington Post explained more in his recent article:
“”Whitney is only the singer,” a successful songwriter told me. “She receives an advance from the record company based upon anticipated album sales. Figure that’s around $2.00 per album. But all of the costs to record the album, promote the album, videos, etc. are all recouped from the artist’s share.”
As in Houston’s case, it is very possible for artists to sell millions of records and end up owing the record label money. In fact, most artists don’t make money from record sales, but rather from ticket sales — a revenue stream that will no longer be a source of income for Whitney’s estate.
“Whitney was living off of advances — loans from the record company — and had been [for] quite some time,” the insider said. “Most likely the estate owes the record company a ton and future sales will be used to pay back that loan before any money goes to the estate. The songwriters, however, will make a bundle.””
Watch Dolly Parton sing ‘I Will Always Love You’ to the man who inspired the song, Porter Wagoner. Then, watch the Whitney Houston cover version from ‘The Bodyguard’ movie