Miley Cyrus Reveals the ‘Tough Conversation’ She Had With Dolly Parton Over Grammys Performance

The "We Can't Stop" singer opened up about her relationship with her famous godmother.

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Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus
Image Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Miley Cyrus recalled the moment her godmother Dolly Parton got real with her prior to her 2024 Grammy performance.

“[Dolly] isn’t afraid to have the tough conversations,” Miley, 31, said during a recent appearance on My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman. “A tough conversation I had with her: I told her, ‘I’m wondering if I’m going to do the Grammys or not,’ And she said, ‘Well of course you’re going to do the Grammys, and you’re not just going to show up but you’re going to show off. And you’re going to be everything that you are sitting right here in front of me’”

“And she said, ‘And don’t forget about the beauty. The hair, the makeup, the whole show. It’s armor for us,”’ Miley added.

The 78-year-old country singer’s manifestation really set the tone because 2024 marked a milestone for the Disney alum. Miley won her first Grammys for Pop Solo Performance and Record of the Year. Alongside this big triumph, she also performed her hit “Flowers,” which she shouted in excitement “I Just Won My First Grammy!” during the performance.

That Godmother instinct is never wrong, and “The Climb” singer has always known that. “[Dolly’s] always said this to me: ‘You do you, and I’ll do me, and together we’ll be us.’ So she wasn’t telling me to be Dolly, she wasn’t telling me to be fabulous and hide behind the sparkles and the hair. She was telling me to be me,” she recalled on the talk show.

Miley has been very public about her relationship with her Godmother including having her as a co-host on NBC’s NYE Celebration and as guest star during her Hannah Montana days.

During her Disney Channel era, she admitted to finding it hard to differentiate herself from Hannah. “I mean, Hannah Montana is famous for wearing a blonde wig and kind of having this other persona that she can turn off and be a regular girl by day and have this superstar life at night,” she told David. “I realize that’s something that Dolly has been doing pretty much her entire life…Now, she’s always in the wig and she’s always in the Dolly…It’s not about the external performance of her creating the character.”

Their bond has been something special ever since Miley was born. Dolly recalled her relationship with her granddaughter during an interview on Good Morning America in 2009. “I’ve known her since she was a baby…Her father’s a friend of mine, and when she was born, he said, ‘You just have to be her godmother,’ and I said, ‘I accept’…We never did do a big ceremony, but I’m so proud of her, love her. and she’s just like one of my own,” the artist shared.