Dolly Parton Defends "Gifted" Miley Cyrus: She's Learning to Fly!

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Miley Cyrus has a living legend in her corner.

The 20-year old - whose latest scandalous act involved drinking underage and making out with Benji Madden late last week - is simply growing up and learning some life lessons along the way, according to veteran country artist Dolly Parton.

“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 tells The Standard in a new interview.

It's worth noting that Parton is Miley's godmother - and this isn't the first time she's told critics to leave Cyrus alone.

“I don’t think people really realize yet what a great singer and writer she really is," Parton added.

Haters, of course, may counter that this has gone unnoticed because herself isn't relying on her singing and/or writing for attention.

She's dancing with stuffed animals and taking her clothes off in order to stay in the news.

“She’s just trying to find her own place and wings and learn to fly," Parton continued, adding of whether or not she advises the young superstar:

"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.'"

Miley has hit number-one with "Bangerz" and even dominated the conversation around Halloween, dressing as Lil Kim and seeing many other celebrities dress as her.

So, clearly, she's doing something right.

"I know that she has thought this all through," Parton concluded of Cyrus. “I would love to do some duets with her. I would love to sing with her and write with her because I think she is so gifted.

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

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miley why do u do all these bad things now cause i liked u for how u were before u are a bad hannah montana now can u please change becaus i think for kids they shouldn't be watching u and what u do the i am a kid and me and my friend savannah right now are posting a comment right and u do not want me to press post most of the kids were happy to see the mtv awards but when they saw u go up to the stage they were like thats nasty

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AND U DON'T LOOK A GIFT HORSE IN THE MOUTH -- YOU'LL SEE THE HORSE TEETH .

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"I’ve seen how smart she is and how talented she is" No one would know dear Dolly by the way she flaunts her tongue and ass. Godmother do some godmothering her parents aren't.