Everything Miley Cyrus and her godmother Dolly Parton have said about each other (2023)

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Everything Miley Cyrus and her godmother Dolly Parton have said about each other (1)

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
  • Country legend Dolly Parton is Miley Cyrus' godmother.
  • Parton said she was given that role due to her close relationship with Cyrus' father, Billy Ray.
  • Cyrus and Parton have both spoken fondly about their relationship over the years.

Both of them recall fond memories of working on "Hannah Montana" together.

Everything Miley Cyrus and her godmother Dolly Parton have said about each other (2)

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Miley Cyrus became famous after starring in the hit Disney show "Hannah Montana" at the age of 13.

In the show, Cyrus plated a fictional version of herself who is secretly a pop star and the show had appearances from Cyrus' own father Billy Ray Cyrus, and godmother Dolly Parton.

In recent years, both Cyrus and Parton have reminisced about acting together on the show in interviews.

During an appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," Cyrus was asked about her first time performing with her godmother.

"I remember her coming to a table read for 'Hannah Montana,'" Cyrus said. "I had, like, zit cream all over my face and my pajamas were on, and we all had our backpacks, going to school, and she came in, in a pink silk robe! And her hair could barely fit through the doorway!"

Cyrus added: "That's one of those proud moments where people started saying, 'So you call her Aunt Dolly. Is that your real aunt?' I'm like, 'Yes she is!'"

Later that year, Parton told Vanity Fair that she felt like a "proud mama" when she was on the show. Parton said that she was asked to guest star in "Hannah Montana" after Cyrus asked for her.

"We just worked so great together," Parton said. "And thanks to her, I had a whole new following of people that were turned on to me. These young little kids that were her fans and kids that were fans of just the whole show and the other little artists on the show but here I am Miley's fairy godmother."

Parton supported Cyrus when she changed her image.

Everything Miley Cyrus and her godmother Dolly Parton have said about each other (3)

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During the early 2010s, Cyrus was heavily criticized after she shed her child star, including headlines about her twerking on Robin Thicke and stripping down on stage at the 2013 MTV's Video Music Awards.

Parton defended her goddaughter at the time, saying the change was needed so she could change her brand from "Hannah Montana."

Parton told Us Weekly in 2014: "She was spectacular on that, but she just needed and wanted so bad to break out of that and wanted to become Miley Cyrus and she tried every way in the world to do it and nobody would let her go. So, she just had to resort to extreme measures but she pulled it off."

She added: "She's a very smart and talented girl and I really hope she does as great as I think she can and will because she's a lot more gifted than a lot of people realize right now."

Parton also told the Evening Standard in 2013 that she trusted Cyrus to make the right decision.

"She's just trying to find her own place and wings and learn to fly," Parton said. "If she needs my opinion on something I will surely give it and there have been times we've talked. But I would never dream of calling her and saying, 'Well, why are you doing this?' or, 'You shouldn't do this or that.'"

Parton said that Cyrus "felt she had to do something completely drastic" to escape her association with Hannah Montana.

Everything Miley Cyrus and her godmother Dolly Parton have said about each other (4)

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In 2014, Cyrus was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people following her transition from "Hannah Montana" to pop star.

Despite the controversy surrounding Cyrus' career choices, Parton praised her goddaughter for being "smart" and "talented" in her profile for the list.

"She was very proud of the work she did as Hannah Montana, but people were gonna leave her there forever," Parton said. "And she was just smotherin' and chokin' in it. So she felt she had to do something completely drastic. And she did. She made her point, she made her mark, and more power to her."

Parton added: "And she doesn't have to be so drastic. But I will respect her choices. I did it my way, so why can't she do it her way?"

Cyrus said that Parton helped keep her grounded as she grew up in the public eye.

Everything Miley Cyrus and her godmother Dolly Parton have said about each other (5)

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With country stars as relatives and finding her own fame on the Disney show "Hannah Montana," Cyrus spent a lot of her childhood in the public eye.

In her 2013 cover story for Cosmopolitan, Cyrus said that always being around fame kept her grounded.

"I was a kid when I started – I turned 13 on the 'Hannah Montana' set – and maybe that's affected my attitude; if it happened now, you'd overthink it," She said. "A lot of [famous] people get what I call 'new money syndrome' – where they didn't grow up with money, and they're so scared of losing it that they become obsessed."

Cyrus added that she also had help from Parton.

"Dolly Parton's my godmother," Cyrus said. "She's taught me a lot about how you treat people. She always says hi to the person on the bottom of the call sheet. I love that."

Parton said she will "never, ever bad-mouth" Cyrus.

Everything Miley Cyrus and her godmother Dolly Parton have said about each other (6)

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From 2009, Cyrus had an on-again-off-again relationship with actor Liam Hemsworth, which finally ended in 2020 with their divorce.

In 2019, Parton was asked about her goddaughter's relationship by Extra correspondent Alecia Davis.

"I think she does some stuff just for shock value, and just because she's young she can afford that," Parton replied. "I will never, ever bad-mouth Miley, no matter what she does. I just always hope she comes out the other end alright."

Parton said that she advised Cyrus to be "careful" and "cautious" about her relationship with Liam Hemsworth.

Everything Miley Cyrus and her godmother Dolly Parton have said about each other (7)

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In 2016, when Cyrus was engaged to Hemsworth, Parton was asked if she had given marriage advice to her goddaughter in an interview with Digital Spy.

"Keep a great respect for each other," she said. "My husband and I respect each other. We have a lot in common. But I don't give people advice. I just say to be respectful and mindful of the other person's feelings and try to compromise when you need to."

She added: "Don't ever start arguing because that can become a habit and a pattern. Better to just walk away than to start throwing things back and forth and all that.I would say be cautious and be careful. And be loving and kind!"

Cyrus said there is "no one that's been able to make country music sexual" like her godmother.

Everything Miley Cyrus and her godmother Dolly Parton have said about each other (8)

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In 2017, Cyrus was asked by NPR if she received advice from her godmother on how to prolong her career. She responded by saying that she learns from Parton by who she is, rather than what she says.

"The best thing that she does is, she's not afraid to laugh at herself," She said. "And she pushed the boundaries for country music, by looking the way that she does, and saying the things that she says, and being sexual in that way. I mean, there's no one that's been able to make country music sexual more than Dolly!"

Parton wanted her goddaughter to play Jolene in a project about her song "Jolene."

Everything Miley Cyrus and her godmother Dolly Parton have said about each other (9)

Tina Rowden / Netflix

In 2019, Netflix released "Dolly Parton's Heartstrings," an anthology series inspired by the country legend's famous songs. The first episode focused on her hit "Jolene" with Julianne Hough portraying the titular character.

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Parton revealed that she always envisioned that her goddaughter playing Jolene in a project.

"Years back when I used to think of Jolene, you know, before Julianne came on, I used to think... I'd love -- Miley would have been great at that as well," Parton said. "But Miley was doing other things. It wasn't that kind of a thing, but she would have been great in that as well."

Parton still praised Hough who got the role instead in the Netflix show.

"She's such a great little actress," Parton said. "She's just got such a great spirit and she's a great singer."

Cyrus says that Parton likes to be called "fairy godmother" over "godmother."

Everything Miley Cyrus and her godmother Dolly Parton have said about each other (10)

AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

In 2019, Parton was honored as MusiCares Person of the Year. During the celebration, Cyrus was asked by Entertainment Tonight about how Parton became her godmother.

"Well, we started doing 'Hannah Montana' and she was playing my aunt," Cyrus replied. "And she doesn't really let me call her godmother. She likes fairy godmother much better."

Later that year, Parton told SiriusXM host Jenny Hutt that she became Cyrus' godmother because of her relationship with the "Hannah Montana" star's father, Billy Ray.

"Well, because I worked with Billy Ray for all those years when he had 'Achy Breaky Heart,'" Parton explained. "He worked with me on some shows we did in the early days. I think he opened some of my shows and we just got to know each other and I wrote a song called 'Romeo' and had him in a video."

She added: "And then when Miley came along you know we just said, 'She's got to be my fairy goddaughter.'"

Cyrus said Parton is a "living fantasy" in her profile for her godmother's nomination as one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people of 2021.

Everything Miley Cyrus and her godmother Dolly Parton have said about each other (11)

Courtesy of Netflix

In 2021, Parton was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people after donating $1 million to COVID-19 vaccine researchin 2020. Her goddaughter wrote her profile for the list and Cyrus was full of praise for Parton.

"She's also the world's most impeccably purposeful walking contradiction, having developed her iconic look after being inspired by the town tramp," Cyrus said. "Now she's known as a saintly, even godlike, figure."

Cyrus said that Parton was like "a living fantasy" when her godmother came to guest star on "Hannah Montana."

The singer also noted Parton's impact outside of being "the most iconic and powerful voices in country music."

"Dolly has diligently celebrated the queer community and her Imagination Library provides millions of books for kids," Cyrus said. "There's a theory that you shouldn't meet your heroes, but I wish everyone had the chance to meet Dolly Parton because she's even better than your sparkliest dreams."

Parton said that she sometimes asks her goddaughter questions about her career.

Everything Miley Cyrus and her godmother Dolly Parton have said about each other (12)

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In January 2022, Parton was asked by Us Weekly about advice she has given to her goddaughter Cyrus.

Parton responded: "Everybody says, 'Do you give Miley advice.' I say, 'Nobody gives Miley advice.' She's headstrong as I am but we both respect each other and we share things."

The country singer continued: "And if I feel like I've got something to say to her like a mother or an aunt or a godmother, I will say something or ask her a question about this or that or ask her a question even concerning my own career because I want to stay involved and important in the business for as long as I live."

In 2020, Cyrus said on the podcast "Podcastn Out" that she thinks of Parton as her mentor.

"I tried to kind of send her a little rundown of what's going on every other month," she added.

Miley Cyrus says her godmother Dolly Parton sends her messages via fax machine.

Everything Miley Cyrus and her godmother Dolly Parton have said about each other (13)

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During an appearance on "Late Night With Seth Meyers" last year, Cyrus revealed Parton still uses a fax machine to contact her goddaughter.

"We do use the phone," Cyrus explained, "but she does a fax, and then someone scans the fax, and then they put it into a text message, and then that gets sent to me."

Cyrus said this encourage her to start making her own text messages more personal.

"I've kind of started my own version where I go into the notes, and I've started to try to make my own letters because there's something so amazing — it's just about a connection," Cyrus said. "It's not casual. She took the time to get out, I guess, her typewriter."

Cyrus also said her godmother uses old-school tech in order to send her music.

"She made me a demo one time when she talks about being super high tech, but it was all through a cassette, which she then voice-memoed onto a flip phone, which someone put onto an iPhone, which was then sent to me," Cyrus said.

Parton told Insider that her goddaughter is a "picky" eater.

Everything Miley Cyrus and her godmother Dolly Parton have said about each other (14)

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Last year, Parton spoke to Insider about cooking for celebrities, including her goddaughter.

During the interview, she said that both she and Cyrus love "Southern food," especially meatloaf.

"Miley's trying to watch what she eats now — she's gone through a lot ofphases of being vegetarian or being vegan or whatever," Parton said. "But in the earlier days, or when her defenses are down, we still eat that good ol' food like meatloaf."

Parton also said that she hasn't cooked for Cyrus in a long time because she's "a little more picky now."

Dolly also said that she wouldn't eat anything Miley cooks because "it would have no taste."

Everything Miley Cyrus and her godmother Dolly Parton have said about each other (15)

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In another interview with Insider in February 2023, promoting her new line of Southern treats with Duncan Hines, Parton said that she refuses to eat what Cyrus cooks as well.

"I doubt I'd eat much of anything that Miley cooks 'cause it would have no taste," Parton said with a laugh.

"Even if she cooked me something, I'm sure I'd have to doctor it up a little for myself," she added. "I would have to have some bacon grease."

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