In a new statement made yesterday, Dolly Parton emphasized  how deeply saddened she is by the  death of  Whitney Houston, who died Saturday in a Beverly Hills hotel room. She felt a special connection with Whitney, especially since they shared the hit ‘I Will Always Love You,’ a song Parton wrote and performed in 1974.

“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 today. “Like everybody else, I am still in shock. But I know that Whitney will live forever in all the great music that she left behind. 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. Rest in peace, Whitney. Again, we will always love you.”

Parton had shared a similar sentiment on her website Saturday, just after learning of the Whitney's death. On her site, Parton offered, “Mine is only one of the millions of hearts broken over the death of Whitney Houston. I will always be grateful and in awe of the wonderful performance she did on my song, and I can truly say from the bottom of my heart, ‘Whitney, I will always love you. You will be missed.’”

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