Dolly to Whitney: "I will always love you"

Dolly Parton performs at the "Kenny Rogers: The First 50 Years," show on April 10, 2010, in Ledyard Center, Conn.
Getty Images
Dolly Parton performs at the "Kenny Rogers: The First 50 Years," show on April 10, 2010, in Ledyard Center, Conn.
Getty Images

Country star Dolly Parton, who wrote Whitney Houston's massive hit "I Will Always Love You" is paying tribute to the singer who died Saturday.

"Mine is only one of the millions of hearts broken over the death of Whitney Houston," Parton said in a statement obtained by Reuters. "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.'"

Parton had her own hit with the song. But when Houston recorded for the soundtrack of the 1992 film "The Bodyguard", Houston's version spent 14 weeks in the No. 1 slot of Billboard listings.

News of Whitney Houston's death swept through the Internet Saturday night as other celebs responded with shock and sadness:

Mariah Carey
Heartbroken and in tears over the shocking death of my friend, the incomparable Ms. Whitney Houston.

Aretha Franklin
Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin told CNN in a statement, "I just can't talk about it now. It's so stunning and unbelievable. I couldn't believe what I was reading coming across the TV screen. My heart goes out to Cissy, her daughter Bobbi Kris, her family and Bobby."

Singer Whitney Houston dies at 48
Whitney Houston's voice will never be forgotten

"Feels so strange being at the Grammy rehearsal right now!!"

Jennifer Lopez
"Such a loss. One of the greatest voices of our time. Sending out prayers to her family... #R.I.P.Whitney"

Lady Gaga
"When I wrote Born This Way I imagined Whitney singing it because I wasn't secure enough to be a star"

Justin Bieber
"Just heard the news. so crazy ...One of the GREATEST VOICES EVER just passed. RIP Whitney Houston. My prayers go out to her friends and family I am sadden to hear of the passing of Whitney Houston today..."

Smokey Robinson:
I've known Whitney since she was a little girl and I have always loved her. She was like family to me....

Christina Aguilera
@TheRealXtina We have lost another legend. Love and prayers to Whitney's family. She will be missed.

RIP Whitney Houston.

La Toya Jackson
@latoyajackson I can't fathom the fact that #whitneyhouston has died! My heart goes out 2 her mother, daughter & her love ones. #Whitney U will be missed

Thank u 4 the times we worked 2gether your Voice touched the World! N this rough time I pray for The Houston Family...

P. Diddy
@iamdiddy Whitney Houston!!! OMG!! I really can't believe this.. This is one of the saddest days ever.

Queen Latifah
Oh Dear Lord! Huritng so Bad!!! MY Sister Whitney!!!!!!! Newark please Pray!!! World Please Pray

Ryan Seacrest
@RyanSeacrest At Grammys rehearsal hearing Whitney Houston has passed away at 48. Everyone here is absolutely stunned.

Wyclef Jean
"The voice of an Angel, the Heart of a Lamb, the spirit of a Lioness, the presence of a Goddess, love you R.I.P Whitney Houston."