BY: Caitlin R. King
PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. – If the superstardom Miley Cyrus has experienced by age 17 sounds like a fairy tale, maybe there’s a good reason.
“I’m her fairy godmother,” exclaimed Dolly Parton after they recently performed together at Dollywood.
Parton has known Miley since she was a baby. Her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, met Parton in the early 1990s when he shot to fame with “Achy Breaky Heart.” He credits Parton for inspiring his acting career and is thankful that she has been a role model for Miley.
“It’s great that she has someone like Dolly to idolize, someone to look up to,” said Billy Ray in a recent phone interview. “Having that type of influence in her life, it’s so amazing and so special.”
In late May, Miley, Billy Ray and Kenny Rogers joined Parton in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., to shoot the hour-long TV special ‘Dolly Parton Celebrates 25 Years of Dollywood,’ which airs Saturday on the Hallmark Channel.
The special is filled with performances, glimpses of the theme park and unscripted moments between the stars, including a part where Parton and the Cyruses play guitar and talk in an attic. It also includes tributes from friends — Reba McEntire, Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney, and others.
“There are a lot of wonderful things,” she said. “It shows the park really great, and the audience and all the people that work here, so we’ve really covered it in every respect.”
One highlight featured Parton and Miley turning the song “Jolene” into a spirited duet, with the two fighting over the same man.
“I was blown away when they did ‘Jolene,’” Billy Ray said. “It was amazing, it was just a moment of going, ‘Wow, listen to how great they sound together.’”
Parton said she considers Miley to be like one of her nieces or a little sister.
“I’m just real proud of her. She does not need my advice, but she’s often asking for information and advice, and I tell her what I know, but I think the girl’s doing all right without me,” said Parton.
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