Young girl performs ‘forbidden’ Dolly Parton song on ‘The Voice,’ leaves judges speechless

Four decades after Dolly Parton denied Elvis Presley the rights to “I Will Always Love You,” a 13-year-old Austrian girl took the ballad and made it all hers.

The “forbidden” song – introduced by Whitney Houston to a new generation in 1992 – was flawlessly performed by Laura Kamhuber on The Voice Kids, blind auditions.

And she left the judges temporarily speechless.

In 1974, Elvis Presley made a play for Dolly Parton’s hit song “I Will Always Love You,” that she released the same year.

If Parton agreed to the terms, it meant she’d have to give up half the publishing royalties to the country song that she wrote when ending her professional relationship with long-time partner Porter Wagoner.

Credit: Shutterstock

And though Presley was her hero, she couldn’t bring herself to sign.

“Something in my heart says, ‘Don’t do that.’ And I just didn’t do it,” she said in an interview with CMT. “But I always wondered what it would sound like. I know he’d kill it…He would have killed it. But anyway, so he didn’t. Then when Whitney [Houston’s version] came out, I made enough money to buy Graceland.”

Topping the charts in 1992

In 1992, Whitney Houston recorded a pop ballad of the same song for the film The Bodyguard, where she starred opposite Kevin Costner. The song was a global success and with over 20 million copies sold, the ballad became the best-selling single of all time by a female soloist.

Credit: Shutterstock

To this date, Celine Dion is the only other woman to hold a spot in the top 10, with 18 million sold for “My Heart Will Go On.”

And in 2012, when pop diva died, the “Jolene” singer joined the chorus of grieving stars, saying in a statement, “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.’”

‘Forbidden song’

The next year, 13-year-old Laura Kamhuber stepped on the stage for a blind audition of The Voice Kids, and after flawlessly belting out “I Will Always Love You,” she left the judges gobsmacked.

The young Austrian, competing on the German edition of the popular singing competition, earned the praise of all three judges, who turned their chairs for the opportunity to coach the middle schooler.

After her spine-tingling performance, German pop star Tim Bendzko told Kamhuber that she had just sang “the forbidden song.” Referring to Houston’s range of vocals that are hard to match, he joked: “you’re not actually allowed to sing this song because it’s unsingable.”

Bendzko adds, “You just sang it sensationally. It was incredible.”

Though Kamhuber, now 24, was later eliminated in the show’s knockout battles, her iconic audition has 226 million views and is the most watched YouTube video by an Austrian artist.

Since, the woman, who goes by the stage name Laura Lun, released three albums, her latest in 2017 that features pop, country and ballads.

Take a listen to Laura Kamhuber’s audition and let us know what you think!

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