Country music legend Dolly Parton recently answered questions about her 21-year-old goddaughter Miley Cyrus.
In an interview with US promoting her album Blue Smoke, which releases today, Parton addressed her goddaughter's headline-grabbing, often controversial behavior. She admitted that Cyrus' transformation from clean-scrubbed Hannah Montana star to the twerking sexpot she is today was shocking, but in a good way.
"I had to laugh, I thought ‘Wow,’ but I realized she had to do it, she had to go to that extreme, so bless her heart. I just hope that she has a long career and I hope that she gets a chance to do everything she wants to do," Parton said.
Parton, who made several guest appearances on the Disney Channel hit series Hannah Montana, said Cyrus was "spectacular" on the show.
" ... but she just needed and wanted so bad to break out of that and wanted to become Miley Cyrus and she tried every way in the world to do it and nobody would let her go. So, she just had to resort to extreme measures but she pulled it off."
Parton made it clear that she thinks Cyrus is a talented musician:
"She’s a very smart and talented girl and I really hope she does as great as I think she can and will because she’s a lot more gifted than a lot of people realize right now. So I hope her choices are good, I hope she takes what she’s done now and really turns it into everything that she wants it to be."
Those are high words of praise coming from a lifelong performer whose career is still going strong at age 68.
— Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) May 9, 2014
Parton kicks off the US leg of her worldwide Blue Smoke Tour on May 22 in Tulsa, OK. After several stops in the US she heads across the ocean to perform the European portion of the tour, starting June 8 in Liverpool, England.
Parton's Dollywood Company owns and operates a highly successful theme park in Pigeon Forge, TN. Her Dixie Stampede, a unique twist on the dinner theatre concept, has locations in Pigeon Forge, Branson, MO, and Myrtle Beach, SC.
What are you most excited for during Homecoming 2014 at Dollywood? pic.twitter.com/XxejWbcleW
— Dollywood (@Dollywood) May 2, 2014
"I've just been dragged screaming and kicking into the 21st century," Parton said during her May 13 Today Show appearance.
Indeed she shares her goddaughter's love of Twitter: "It’s just a wonderful way to get stuff out to people. They feel like they’re connected right to you and they have a chance to kind of say whatever they want to say."
"It's wonderful that I'm still here. I say I'm as old as yesterday but hopefully as new as tomorrow."
— Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) May 13, 2014
Image via Dolly Parton, Twitter