Miley Cyrus Recalls ‘Tough Conversation’ Where Dolly Parton Encouraged Her to Perform at 2024 Grammys

According to Cyrus in a recent interview, she has always told me, “You do you, and I’ll do me, and together we’ll be us.”

Dave Quinn works for PEOPLE as a senior editor. Not All Diamonds and Rosé: The Inside Story of the Real Housewives from the People Who Lived It is his #1 New York Times best-selling book, and he has been employed by the company since 2016.

If it weren’t for Dolly Parton’s support, Miley Cyrus might not have given the incredible rendition of “Flowers” at the 2024 Grammy Awards.

In a recent episode of Netflix’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman, the 31-year-old pop diva talked about her close friendship with the 78-year-old country icon and described a “tough conversation” they had.


Our initial meeting eludes me; I was too young to recall. In the 1990s, she coworked with my dad. Cyrus, 77, told host David Letterman, “Jolene” singer: “They had music together, and I think my dad even toured with her.”


Cyrus’ godmother, Parton, also played the part on Hannah Montana, which the “Party in the U.S.A.” singer saw as a sign that the show’s lead character “seeped into who I really am.”


She was oblivious to the distinction between herself and Hannah Montana at the moment. “Some aspects of myself, such as my relationship with Dolly, are that character,” Cyrus remarked.

I mean, Dolly has been doing that for pretty much her whole life, and I recognize that Hannah Montana is well-known 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 celebrity life at night, she said.

Cyrus continued, “Now, she’s always in the Dolly and she’s always in the wig.” It’s not about how she created the character on the outside.


When asked to reveal something unexpected about Parton, the Grammy winner replied that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member “really eats Dollywood food—like, if she asks me what I want for lunch, it’s [from the theme park].”

Cyrus provided a more insightful tale, saying that Parton “isn’t afraid to have the tough conversations,” without jeopardizing “that sacred part of our relationship.”


I told her, “I’m wondering if I’m going to do the Grammys or not,” during a difficult talk. She responded, “Well, of course you’re going to do the Grammys, and you’re going to show off, not just show up.” Cyrus said of her rendition of “Flowers” at the 2024 Oscars, where she took home her first two Grammys, “And you’re going to be everything that you are sitting right here in front of me.”

“And don’t forget about the beauty,” she continued. The entire show, the hair, and the makeup. For us, it’s armor,” Cyrus continued. “You do you, and I’ll do me, and together we’ll be us,” she has always told me. That is to say, she wasn’t telling me to be Dolly, or to hide behind the hair and sparkles and be amazing. She was urging me to be authentic.


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