Dolly Parton Reminisces on Time Spent With Goddaughter Miley Cyrus in Touching Throwback

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Hannah Montana introduced the world to a young Miley Cyrus. The series showed off her acting chops as well as her pipes. Additionally, it showed viewers Miley’s connection to Dolly Parton. Today, Parton celebrated the 16th anniversary of her first time on the show with a sweet social media post.

“Wow! 16 years since my first appearance on Hannah Montana with my sweet [Miley Cyrus]. Time flies,” Dolly Parton wrote in the post’s caption. In the photo, we can see Dolly Parton hugging a young Miley Cyrus.

Dolly Parton only appeared in three episodes of Hannah Montana. In the series, she played “Aunt Dolly” which wasn’t too far from the truth. Parton is included in Cyrus’ extended family, but she’s not an aunt. Dolly is Miley’s godmother.

Dolly Parton’s Connection to Miley Cyrus

The story of Dolly Parton’s connection to Miley Cyrus starts with the icon’s connection to Billy Ray Cyrus. In the 90s, Billy Ray was one of the biggest names in country music. “Achy Breaky Heart” propelled him to fame and everyone, including Dolly, took notice.

Billy Ray Cyrus and Dolly Parton worked together and he opened for her on tour. Additionally, Parton featured Cyrus in her “Romeo” music video. The tour, though, brought them together. “We just kind of gelled ‘cause we’re both country kids. We had a lot of fun talking about that. Then, when Miley came along, I said, ‘She’s got to be my fairy goddaughter,’” Dolly recalled in a 2019 interview.

Dolly Parton takes the role of godmother seriously. However, she doesn’t try to tell Miley how to live. Instead, she chooses to be a mentor and an example for the younger artist. “I’ve told her some things that I think are valuable and that she uses,” Dolly said. “But, I’d rather live an example, be an example rather than just try to tell somebody to do this do, do that. I don’t think that’s right.”

Dolly Parton added, “Everybody’s different. You’ve got your own journey. Some people are going to help you along the way and they can kick some rocks out of the road for you, but you have to walk it.”

The Family Table

There’s a good chance that Dolly Parton passed some wisdom along to Miley Cyrus at the dinner table. Dolly revealed that she used to love to cook for her goddaughter. “Miley and I both love Southern food,” Parton said. “Like mashed potatoes, coleslaw, and a big ol’ hunk of cornbread.”

“Miley’s trying to watch what she eats now. She goes through a lot of phases of being vegetarian or being vegan or whatever. But, in the earlier days – or when her defenses are down – we still eat that good ol’ food like meatloaf.”