They came in like wrecking balls! Dolly Parton opened up about her bond with goddaughter Miley Cyrus — and how “proud” she is to be influencing the next generation of female musicians.
“I don’t give advice, but I got a lot of information. Same with Miley,” the 76-year-old singer exclusively told Us Weekly on Wednesday, January 26, while promoting her Dolly Parton x Duncan Hines line launching in March. “Everybody says, ‘Do you give Miley advice?’ I said, ‘Nobody gives Miley advice.’ She’s [as] headstrong as I am, but we both respect each other. And we share things.”
The “Jolene” songstress — who was named Cyrus’ godmother because of her close friendship with Miley’s father, Billy Ray Cyrus — noted that she does speak with the “Party in the U.S.A.” singer, 29, when it seems fitting.
“If I feel like I’ve got something to say to her, like, a mother or an aunt or a godmother, I will say something. Or [I will] ask her a question about this or that or ask her a question even concerning my own career,” Parton said. “[Because] I wanna stay involved and important in the business for as long as I live. And I’ve been lucky enough that that’s happened.”
The Songteller author added that it’s a “great blessing and a great compliment that I’m able to steer anybody in a good direction.”
Parton’s influence reaches far wider than Miley, who she has collaborated with on the 2017 song “Rainbowland” and worked with on episodes of Hannah Montana in the 2000s. The country legend has paved the way for many female vocalists and entrepreneurs — which is an accolade she doesn’t take lightly.
“It makes me feel proud. Makes me feel good to know that I’ve been an inspiration,” the 9 to 5 star told Us. “And when I hear a lot of these young people — that I think are better than I ever thought about being — [and] they say that I’m their hero or that they’ve learned so much from me. Well, it makes me feel good that I can be there to help guide a few young people.”
The Tennessee native, who has been married to Carl Thomas Dean since 1966, made a name for herself in the music industry by never changing who she was. In fact, Parton attributes her simple roots and non-celebrity lifestyle as part of the reason she is still so relevant.
“I stay true to myself ‘cause I never lost myself. I’ve never changed. I don’t relate to that being a star kind of thing. I really don’t. I just feel like I’m a working girl,” she explained. “I have a joke, and it’s true though, I say, ‘I’m a workhorse that looks like a show horse — It’s dressed like a show horse. But I work hard, and I love what I do. I feel blessed.”
That work ethic has led to Parton becoming a household name as a musician, actress, businesswoman and more. Her latest project is showing off her cooking skills with the help of Duncan Hines.
The “Here You Come Again” singer teamed up with the company to launch her Dolly Parton x Duncan Hines line, which includes cake mixes and frostings that are inspired by her southern roots.
“When I’m in the kitchen, I’m able to be cooking anything. I’m a southern girl. So, most of the things that I like to cook [are] really southern foods, whether it be fried chicken or chicken and dumplings, and of course you always have to have a good cake or something sweet to end a good meal,” Parton told Us, adding that she’s “very proud” of her new line with Duncan Hines, which is available in stores in March.
She added that while the baking collection kits, which launched on Wednesday, are currently sold out, more things are coming down the line with the baking company. In addition to her first Duncan Hines line hitting shelves, Parton’s book collaboration with James Patterson, called Run, Rose, Run, and corresponding album, will also be available in March.
“March is gonna be a big month for me. I’m gonna be working my butt off,” the musician said. “I’m gonna be eating a lot of cake and doing a lot of singing.”
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi
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