Miley’s dad, country star Billy Ray Cyrus, was huge in the 1990s and became one the biggest acts of the decade. The “Achy Breaky Heart” singer worked with Parton and even went on the road with her as an opener on her tour. During a 2019 interview with SiriusXM’s Just Jenny, Dolly Parton shared the story behind how she became the godmother to Cyrus’ newborn baby girl.
“I worked with Billy Ray for all those years, when he had ‘Achy Breaky Heart,'” Dolly said in the Just Jenny interview. “He worked with me on some shows we did in the early days. He opened some of my shows. We just got to know each other. I wrote a song called ‘Romeo,’ and had him in a video. We just kind of gelled, ’cause we’re both country kids. We had a lot of fun just talking about that. And then when Miley came along, I said, ‘She’s got to be my fairy goddaughter.'”
Although the pair are super close, Parton, 75, doesn’t dish out unwanted advice to the 28-year-old. She’s often been a mentor to the “Wrecking Ball” singer, but she prefers to lead by example. While speaking with People that same year, she explained more about their bond and how she views her role as godmother.
“I’ve told her some things that I think are valuable and that she uses. But I’d rather live an example,” Dolly Parton told People in 2019. “[I’d rather] be an example rather than just try to tell somebody to do this, do that because I don’t think that’s right. Everybody’s different. You’ve got your own journey. And some people are going to help you along the way and they can kick a few rocks out of the road for you, but you got to walk it.”
Dolly Parton Sings ‘Jolene’ with Goddaughter Miley Cyrus
Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus’ relationship has been on full display numerous times in their careers. Parton made appearances on Cyrus’ hit Disney sitcom Hannah Montana with her character mirroring her real-life role as Miley’s godmother.
In addition, the two singers have performed together multiple times. Their most recent performance together came at the 2019 Grammy Awards. The duo teamed up for a resounding rendition of “Jolene” as part of a tribute to Parton. However, that wasn’t the first time the two performed “Jolene” together publicly.
More than ten years ago in 2010, they shared the stage for an Independence Day performance on the Hallmark Channel. Previous to Cyrus coming out on stage, her godmother pumped up the crowd before introducing the Hannah Montana star. “My goddaughter, Miss Miley Cyrus,” Parton yells while introducing her to her fans.
The crowd rose to their feet as Cyrus walked onto the stage. At the time, Cyrus was one of the brightest young stars in the country. She had a hit TV show and her 2009 breakout song “Party in the U.S.A.” solidified her music career success as well. The pair went on to give an incredible performance of Parton’s classic song “Jolene.”