‘A Holly Dolly Christmas’: Why Miley Cyrus wanted to ‘murder’ Hannah Montana? Here's what Dolly Parton advised her
'I need to murder Hannah Montana in order for people to accept who I really am'
For every artist who is passionate about art, musings and inspirations can be evoked anywhere. For legendary singer Dolly Parton, singing is just like an amusing activity and a therapeutic experience and so she can write songs anywhere at any time, be it in “plane, in the tub or on the bus”. Nothing can deter the jovial spirit of Parton. Not even the distressful times of pandemic. Now the 74-year-old songstress is coming to spread love with her melodic jingles in the Christmas season in her new one-hour entertainment special ‘A Holly Dolly Christmas’.
The CBS special will have a performance by the ‘Jolene’ star “from an intimate, candle-lit set”. The program will amplify the joy of festivity with some powerful, faith-ﬁlled hymns from the singer. To our elation, America's biggest entertainer will also share personal Christmas stories and faith-based recollections, interspersed with songs from her new, record-breaking album ‘A Holly Dolly Christmas’.
'A Holly Dolly Christmas’ is Parton’s 47th studio album. What makes the album even more special is that it is her first holiday album in 30 years! Released on October 2, the album features some popular favorites including Miley Cyrus, Willie Nelson, Michael Bublé, Jimmy Fallon, Billy Ray Cyrus and more, and has 12 songs all based on Christmas, festivity, love, and compassion.
With many stars featuring in her album, what captures our attention more is Dolly Parton’s goddaughter Miley Cyrus. Parton has sung 'Christmas Is' which is part of the album, with Cyrus. Now as she will entice us with heartwarming personal stories in the Christmas special, it is worth knowing how she became the “fairy godmother” of Miley Cyrus.
How Parton became Miley’s godmother?
Besides her soul-stirring melodies, Dolly Parton is celebrated for her loving and nurturing personality. It is the same adoration she has shown for singer Miley Cyrus right when she was born. Dolly does not have any blood relations with Cyrus. However, her friendship with Billy Ray Cyrus was so close that she agreed to be Miley’s “fairy godmother.” Dolly met Billy in the 1990s over a tour soon after the release of Billy’s famous single ‘Achy Breaky Heart’.
As the two adults bonded well, rumors went about that they were romantically involved. This was false as the two only had a platonic bond of friendship. Billy once uttered on the rumors, “When I was on her tour, there was a headline that she and I were romantically involved. Dolly looked me straight in the eyes and said, ‘Honey, that s*** sells records!’”. He added, “I love Dolly. I probably wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing without her.”
Dolly too has referred to Billy as, “one of the nicest, sweetest people you would ever want to meet.” She recalled the moment she became Miley’s godmother in 1992 when she was born. "I worked with Billy Ray for all those years, when he had 'Achy Breaky Heart’. We just got to know each other. I wrote a song called 'Romeo,' and had him in a video. We just kind of gelled, 'cause we're both country kids. We had a lot of fun just talking about that. And then when Miley came along, I said, 'She's got to be my fairy goddaughter.'" Being Cyrus’s godmother, Dolly Parton imparted her wisdom and even shared the stage with Miley. Miley too has adored Dolly and said: “She teaches people not to judge a book by its cover, or its huge boobs or its big hair.”
Over the years their relationship has just gone stronger. In the early years of Miley’s career from 2006 to 2011, when she starred in the Disney sitcom ‘Hannah Montana’, Dolly featured in several episodes playing Hannah Montana's famous Aunt Dolly.
The duo has given some splendid performances to cheer their fans. This includes their 2010 rendition of Dolly Parton's hit ‘Jolene’ at Dollywood theme park and a 2016 performance of the song with the musical group Pentatonix on NBC's ‘The Voice’. Besides ‘Jolene’ the two have also collaborated on Miley’s 2017 song ‘Rainbowland’ for her album ‘Younger Now’. Besides performances the two have always heaped praises on each other's talent and personality. During the 2019 Grammy awards when Dolly Parton was honored with a tribute performance and was named MusiCares' person of the year, Miley said, "You're the best, Aunt Dolly.”
Dolly too has always admired Miley. She backed the goddaughter when she received backlash for her controversial MTV Video Music Awards performance with Robin Thicke in 2013. "I've loved her through the years and watched her grow up and I've seen how smart she is and how talented she is," Parton said. "I don't think people really realize yet what a great singer and writer she really is. She's just trying to find her own place and wings and learn to fly."
Backing in difficult times
The human bond grows stronger in hurdles when we keep supporting our loved ones. Dolly and Miley were no different despite being celebrities. The two had their hard times and kept backing one another with compassion.
In her teens, when Miley was struggling to come out of her stereotypical role of teenage idol Hannah Montana, she drew flak for her sudden image change and reportedly overly sexy behavior. At that time, Dolly backed her and said, “People didn’t want her to grow up — they got mad at her. One day she’d had enough and told me, ‘I need to murder Hannah Montana in order for people to accept who I really am.” Dolly added, “I was holding my breath, hoping that people didn’t totally crucify her.”
While Miley was trying to change her public image to show herself as a grownup, Dolly said she was concerned for her. "I'm hoping that she holds it in the road and doesn't do so many things that are that bizarre”, she said on Miley’s outrageous acts. "I don't think the crowd would be so forgiving again if she did anything else that was really offensive. I don't want it to overshadow her talent."
Later in 2014, when Miley was honored during ‘Time 100’, Dolly spoke on her talents. “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. She was very proud of the work she did as Hannah Montana, but people were gonna leave her there forever.” Parton also supported Miley after her sudden divorce with husband Liam Hemsworth that happened just less than a year of marriage. “Miley’s smart; Miley knows what she’s doing.”
In an interview, Miley said how Dolly reminds her of the importance of love and family. "Seriously, watching the way she treats people with love and respect," she said. "Always a reminder to me and my family of what is important. Never let success change your heart."
Now as Dolly Parton is coming to spread this love on the Christmas special, one can expect that maybe she would share some personal stories of her cherishable bond with Miley Cyrus as the show is centered around celebrating festivals with closed ones.
"A Holly Dolly Christmas' special program will be broadcast on Sunday, December 6 at 8.30 PM, ET on CBS Television Network. It will be available to stream live on CBS All Access.