Dolly Parton Defends Goddaughter Miley Cyrus: What's Wrong with Being Provocative Anyway?

The country legend says she would "never dream" of criticizing the "Wrecking Ball" singer for her new image

Just as we suspected, Dolly Parton is basically a fairy godmother. The country legend, who is the godmother of Miley Cyrus, cracked a few jokes about twerking and wrecking balls when she appeared on The Queen Latifah Show (rapping!) in October. But when the conversation gets serious, Dolly is 100 percent on Miley's side.

"I know that she has thought this all through. We’ll let her go and do her own thing," Parton, 67, told the London Evening Standard over the weekend.

"She’s just trying to find her own place and wings and learn to fly," Parton said of Cyrus, 20. "If she needs my opinion on something I will surely give it and there have been times we’ve talked. But I would never dream of calling her and saying, 'Well why are you doing this?' or, 'You shouldn’t do this or that.'"

Parton certainly knows a few things about being a provocateur. Her big hair, bold makeup and cleavage-flaunting clothes may be commonplace in country music now, but there was a time when they were considered scandalous. And she seemed to enjoy provoking her critics. For example, here's an old clip of Dolly taking a bath on TV. Shocking!

Though it did take her a few months to come to Miley's defense (maybe she just wanted to steer clear of the drama?), it's nice that Dolly finally did. Some of Miley's other critics -- like Brooke Shields, who did nude modeling and played racy film roles in her own teen years -- seem to have forgotten what it's like to be a young celebrity. Dolly has not.

"It’s not easy being young. It’s hard to know what to do," she told The Standard. "You’ve almost got to sacrifice your damn soul just to get anything done."

Parton also seems confident that when the controversy has died down, Miley's talent will really shine through.

"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 gushed. "I don't think people really realize yet what a great singer and writer she really is. ... I would love to sing with her and write with her because I think she is so gifted."

For now, Miley's behavior is still making more headlines than her music. The singer is currently being linked to Good Charlotte guitarist Benji Madden, following a rumored hook-up at Adam Lambert's Halloween party.

"They were really into each other," a fellow partygoer told People. "I saw them making out at one point, and his hand was on her legs the majority of the time. They were very touchy-feely."

Miley (dressed as Lil Kim at the 1999 VMAs) and Benji (who arrived in creepy Dia De Los Muertos make-up, but washed it off by the end of the night) were photographed leaving the party together with a group of friends. In the pictures, Miley appears to be holding an open bottle of Malibu rum.

"They seemed really into each other. Soon they were flirting and talking very closely. Then they shared a kiss," another witness told the Daily Mail. "They left Bootsy Bellows together around 1 a.m. They tried to be discreet by sharing a car with some other friends but it was clear they were leaving as a couple."

A source "close" to Miley denied the hook-up to People, saying that they "chatted but it wasn't romantic." It did get tongues wagging, though -- and in Miley's world, that may be even more satisfying!

Donna Kaufman is a freelance writer and iVillage contributor. Find her on Twitter and Google+

WATCH: Dolly Parton Defends Her Goddaughter Miley Cyrus

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