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Dolly Parton on Miley Cyrus: ‘I Did It My Way, So Why Can’t She?’

Dolly Parton, Miley Cyrus
Mark Metcalfe/Christopher Polk, Getty Images

As Miley Cyrus‘s godmother, Dolly Parton knows the pop sensation pretty well. But while masses have been concerned about her drastic transition from Hannah Montana into a twerking sex symbol, Parton sticks up for Cyrus, offering her own take on the 21-year-old.

Cyrus made Time’s 100 Most Influential People list (along with country superstar Carrie Underwood), and Parton wrote the introduction, saying, “If I didn’t know how smart and talented Miley is, I might worry about her. But I’ve watched her grow up. So I don’t. She knows what she’s doing.”

Adds the ‘Blue Smoke’ singer, “She was very proud of the work she did as Hannah Montana, but people were gonna leave her there forever. And she was just smotherin’ and chokin’ in it. So she felt she had to do something completely drastic. And she did. She made her point, she made her mark, and more power to her.”

Parton is clearly on her goddaughter’s side, rooting for her and cheering her on as she navigates stardom and growing up in the entertainment industry. She continues with insight, “I’m hoping that now she can relax and show people how talented she really is. ’Cause the girl can write. The girl can sing. The girl is smart. And she doesn’t have to be so drastic. But I will respect her choices. I did it my way, so why can’t she do it her way?”

The country music icon has stuck up for Cyrus before, especially after her 2013 VMA performance, which had everyone in a tizzy. She pointed out that “it’s not easy being young,” saying that she was there for Cyrus if needed. Additionally, the ‘Wrecking Ball’ singer considers Parton a true role model and, in her own words, a genius.

Next: Brad Paisley Writes About Carrie Underwood for Time's 100

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