Miley Cyrus Has the Coolest Godmother Ever: Dolly Parton
Miley Cyrus is having a big year. Her newest album, "Endless Summer Vacation," earned rave reviews from fans. Now, this October, Cyrus and a very special person — Dolly Parton — have teamed up for a duet of one of Cyrus's biggest hits, "Wrecking Ball."
The new duet has its origins in last year. In December 2022, Cyrus and Parton reunited to host "Miley's New Year's Eve Party" in celebration of 2023's arrival, and they sang "Wrecking Ball" together live at that time. But their New Year's collaboration was far from the first time the pair shared a stage or expressed their love for each other. Cyrus presented Parton with the first-ever hitmaker award at Billboard's Women in Music event in 2020, describing Parton as her "very precious fairy godmother" in a heartfelt tribute speech. Earlier that same year, Parton told Marie Claire that she always knew Cyrus was destined for greatness. "I love Miley. I think she's great. She's out there, and I love that she takes her chances," she said. "I love that she's true to herself and that she's willing to try new things and do whatever. I've always loved her, since she was little, and I knew she was special. She just had a light about her. Her sparkle, and her smile, and her eyes were always full of wonder."
Previously, Cyrus was part of Parton's epic tribute performance during the 2019 Grammys, during which Parton sang all of the best jams from the incredible "Dumplin'" soundtrack along with a whole host of special guests including Katy Perry, Little Big Town, Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves, and, of course, Cyrus. Just a week before that, Cyrus teamed up with Shawn Mendes for the MusiCares Person of the Year Gala (which was held in honor of Parton) to sing Parton and Kenny Rogers's 1983 song, "Islands in the Stream." Before the event, Cyrus even posted a sweet photo of her and Parton on Instagram with the caption, "It's YOUR night Aunt @dollyparton! Beyond deserved!"
Clearly, the pair share a special relationship. So, it all begs the question: are the two actually related?
Are Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton Related?
As close as the two are (and as similar as they might sound at times!), Parton is actually Cyrus's godmother, not a blood relative. We totally understand the confusion, though — Parton even made a few cameo appearances playing Cyrus's godmother on Disney's "Hannah Montana," though she was referred to as "Aunt Dolly" then, too. Her relationship with Cyrus stems from a long-lasting friendship with the pop star's dad, fellow musician Billy Ray Cyrus, and just as Cyrus always supports the music legend, Parton always has her goddaughter's back in turn.
When Cyrus faced criticism for her provocative outfits and performances back in 2013, Parton said Cyrus was smarter than people believed and needed a chance to find her own way, just as Parton herself had. "She's just trying to find her own place and wings and learn to fly," she told Evening Standard at the time. We'd say everything turned out just fine, so perhaps godmother does know best. Check out the gallery for pictures of the two talented ladies over the years.
Parton first joined Cyrus on "Hannah Montana" in the season one episode "Good Golly, Miss Dolly," where she played Miley Stewart's Aunt Dolly visiting from out of town.
Parton made another "Hannah Montana" cameo in the season four episode "Kiss It Goodbye."
"Kiss It Goodbye" was the last appearance Parton made on the show, though she also appears in the season two episode "I Will Always Loathe You."
In 2010, for the 25th anniversary of Parton's Pigeon Forge, TN, theme park, Dollywood, she teamed up with the Hallmark Channel for a concert event, where Miley, Billy Ray, and Rogers all joined her for performances.
Cyrus posed alongside Parton during the Recording Academy's 2019 MusiCares Person of the Year award ceremony, in which Parton was honored for her artistic achievement in the music industry, as well as her dedication to philanthropy.
Cyrus and Parton were also joined by singer-songwriter Linda Perry on the red carpet outside the Los Angeles Convention Center, where the ceremony was held.
The duo performed on stage together during the 61st annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, singing Parton's hit "Jolene."
The two were later joined by country music singer Morris, who helped them perform a cover of Neil Young's "After the Gold Rush."
Parton and Cyrus shared this super-sweet moment on stage after their Grammys performance together.
At the end of their Grammys performance, Parton was joined by everyone who performed, including — from left to right — Morris, Perry, Jimi Westbrook, Kimberly Schlapman, Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet, Cyrus, and Musgraves.
Cyrus presented Parton with the hitmaker award at Billboard's Women in Music event in 2020. "I've never met anyone that doesn't like Dolly Parton, and it's safe to say if they don't like her, it's only because they love her," Cyrus said in a sweet tribute speech.
Cyrus and Parton reunited for Parton's annual Christmas movie in 2022. "Dolly Parton's Mountain Magic Christmas" features Cyrus, Jimmy Fallon, and other stars.
Cyrus and Parton cohosted Cyrus's New Year's Eve party on the last night of 2022, ringing in the new year together in an epic cross-generational collaboration. The pair announced the event in a celebratory joint Instagram post.
In a promotional video also shared on Instagram, the two shared a sweet moment. "Miley's New Year's Eve party is about getting glamorous and dressing your best," Cyrus said. Parton replied, "Well, we do that every day — don't we, Miley?" and Cyrus answered, "You taught me well" — and then the two broke out into a duet of "Jolene."
The pair also sang a live version of Cyrus's "Wrecking Ball" during the show.
On Oct. 20, Parton released a studio version of her and Cyrus singing "Wrecking Ball." Together, the song's repeated "I will always love you" takes on new meaning, and the pair even sing a little of Parton's hit of the same name together at the end. The duet is part of Parton's new album "Rockstar," coming in November.
On Instagram, Parton talked about the song, explaining, "I remember the first time I heard 'Wrecking Ball,' it hit me the same way as it did the first time I heard 'I Will Always Love You' by Whitney Houston. I was driving, heard that one, and I almost wrecked. And when I heard 'Wrecking Ball,' I almost wrecked again. I thought when it started into that chorus, 'It hit me like a wrecking ball,' I thought, 'Well, how great can a song be?'"
Meanwhile, Cyrus wrote on her Instagram, "I've grown up covering my Aunt Dollys music & it's an honor to hear her singing one of my songs. I love you Aunt Dolly! I'm so happy to add another collaboration under our bedazzled (studded leather) belt! We're ROCKSTARS now! You can hear so much sweetness and love on this record."