Why Dolly Parton Once Said Goddaughter Miley Cyrus Was Like a ‘Little Elvis’

by Amy Myers

As if it wasn’t enough having the great Billy Ray Cyrus as a father, Miley Cyrus’ godmother is another country icon, Dolly Parton. Like her family, Cyrus has become a huge hit as a singer and songwriter. This is largely in thanks to her Disney show, Hannah Montana, but even after the kid-friendly sitcom ended, the young star continued producing music. And her godmother is one of her biggest fans.

This might come as a shock because there are so many blatant differences between Cyrus and Parton. For one, while Cyrus might have started her career with a more country-pop vibe, she fully immersed herself in the pop industry once her career with Disney ended. Parton, on the other hand, has stayed a tried-and-true country singer throughout the decades.

However, Dolly Parton still loves her goddaughter’s music. There might be a genre and generation gap between the two music stars, but Parton recognizes the raw talent Miley Cyrus has.

Dolly Parton Says Her Goddaughter Is ‘Really Deep’

In an 11-question 2008 interview with The Boot, country icon Dolly Parton shared her true thoughts about her goddaughter, Miley Cyrus’, music, calling her a “little Elvis.”

“The kids love her because she’s ‘Hannah Montana,’ but what people don’t realize about her is she is such a fantastic singer and songwriter,” Parton shared.

The female country icon continued to praise Cyrus’ talent and how mature her style has become and her ability to reach both younger and older audiences.

“She writes songs like she’s 40 years old! She’s really deep,” Dolly Parton said. “And I think that she’s gonna have a big career after that show is off the air. I know I’m partial, because she’s my goddaughter. But I’m amazed at the talent that child has and the effect she has on people. And a lot of that ain’t just Disney, a lot of that is Miley.”

Miley Cyrus Performs Godmother’s Classic

Dolly Parton has been the Queen of Country since the 60s. Alongside stars like Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette, Parton paved the way for female country stars for decades to come. Originally from Locust Ridge, Tennessee, the future country legend didn’t have to travel far to the Music City for the start of her career. In fact, Nashville first took note of her during a guest performance on the Grand Ole Opry stage—the first of many—at just 13-years-old.

In honor of her godmother, Miley Cyrus once performed a stripped-down version of Dolly Parton’s classic hit, “Jolene.” Though no cover could ever come close to the original, the young star pays tribute to her country roots and Parton’s legacy with the performance. Truly, the country legend has inspired Cyrus and other young women in the music industry for the better.