Dolly Parton on Her ‘Rockstar’ Collaborator and Goddaughter Miley Cyrus: “[She’s] an Amazing Talent”

Dolly Parton recently paid a visit to SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show to promote her brand-new, first-ever rock album, Rockstar, and she got to talking about her goddaughter, Miley Cyrus, with whom she recorded a duet version of Cyrus’ 2013 chart-topper “Wrecking Ball.” Host Howard Stern asked Parton how she came to be the pop star’s godmother, noting that it must be very cool to have Cyrus as a goddaughter.

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“It is very cool,” the country legend answered. “I love Miley. She’s my little sweetheart. I’ve known her since before she was born, actually.”

[RELATED: Watch: Dolly Parton Performs “Rocky Top” at Tennessee-Georgia Football Game]

Parton then went on to explain that she had developed a friendship with Miley’s father, Billy Ray Cyrus, while they were touring together around the time he had his smash hit “Achy Breaky Heart,” noting that his wife was expecting a baby at the time.

“We just got to be good friends. ’Cause he’s a Kentucky boy, I’m from Tennessee. And he said … ‘[W]e’re having a girl, and you gotta be her godmother,’” Parton recalled. “I said, ‘Well, I’d be honored!’ So, actually, Miley and I took over from there, and we’ve just stayed very, very close through the years.”

Stern also asked Parton if Miley ever used her connection with the country legend to help her career or to get advice.

“Well, she’s asked me a lot of things, and she mostly just runs things by me,” Parton explained. “And we talk. I mean, she’s very successful. Miley’s very smart. She’s very intuitive about the business, and I just think Miley is a spectacular human being and an amazing talent.”

Parton said she loved how her and Cyrus’ voices blended on their rendition of “Wrecking Ball,” one of 30 tracks on the expansive Rockstar album, and she explained why she wanted to record the song with Miley for the project.

“She’s got a fantastic voice. I just felt honored [to collaborate with her],” Parton noted. “I love that song and I love Miley, and when I started to choose all these people for my record, or songs that I wanted to do, I thought, ‘I have to have Miley.’”

As previously reported, Rockstar features a variety of covers of classic rock songs, plus a handful of original tunes, with Parton teaming up with an impressive roster of famous singers and musicians. In addition to Cyrus, among the many stars who appear on the album are Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Elton John, Sting, ex-Journey singer Steve Perry, Heart’s Ann Wilson, John Fogerty, Stevie Nicks, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, Peter Frampton, Joan Jett, P!nk, Blondie’s Debbie Harry, Pat Benatar, Judas Priest’s Rob Halford, and Sheryl Crow.

Rockstar is available now in multiple formats and configurations.

Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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