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In 1992, singer Whitney Houston recorded the song for the soundtrack to The Bodyguard, her film debut. Houston was originally to record Jimmy Ruffin’s “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted” as the lead single from The Bodyguard. However, when it was discovered the song was to be used for Fried Green Tomatoes, Houston requested a different song and her co-star Kevin Costner brought her Linda Ronstadt’s 1975 version of “I Will Always Love You” from her album Prisoner in Disguise. Houston and producer David Foster re-arranged the song as a soul ballad. Her record company did not feel a song with an a cappella introduction would be as successful; however, Houston and Costner insisted on retaining the a cappella intro. The tenor saxophone solo was played by Kirk Whalum. Whitney Houston’s recording is not the only version of the song featured in the movie. In a scene where she dances with Kevin Costner, a version by John Doe can be heard playing on a jukebox.
Houston’s version was a massive worldwide success, appearing at number 68 on Billboard’s “Greatest Songs of All Time.”