Dolly Parton on goddaughter Miley Cyrus: 'It’s not easy being young'

Dolly Parton on goddaughter Miley Cyrus: 'It’s not easy being young'
Miley Cyrus performs at IHeartRadio Music Village, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Al Powers/Powers Imagery/Invision /AP)

Country music icon Dolly Parton knows Miley Cyrus better than most people; a close friend of Cyrus's father, Billy Ray, the buxom blonde is actually the 20year-old's godmother. But unlike the rest of America, Parton is spending any time wringing her hands over Cyrus's behavior and apparel -- instead, she says, she understand that growing up in the spotlight is difficult. 

In an interview with the London Evening Standard, 67-year-old Parton opened up about the "Wrecking Ball" singer, who has recently become a tabloid favorite for her outrageous outfits and awards show performances. 

"She’s just trying to find her own place and wings and learn to fly," Parton explained, adding that it's never crossed her mind to wag a finger at the former Disney star

"I would never dream of calling her and saying, ‘Well why are you doing this?’ or, ‘You shouldn’t do this or that.'"

Instead of focusing on her behavior, Parton says, onlookers should pay attention to Cyrus's vocal and lyrical talent.

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

Parton also echoed a sentiment that Cyrus has expressed in interviews, which is that it's difficult to be taken seriously as a young pop star, regardless of behavior.

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

Miley Cyrus will soon be gracing the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine. In her cover interview, Cyrus explained that she doesn't mind that everyone's talking about her -- in fact, it's a good thing for her career.

"Even people who want to hate on me, they can’t even shut down the fact that I’m literally what everyone is talking about," she told the magazine.

Cyrus' new album, "Bangerz," is on track to be the biggest-selling album for a female artist of 2013. It's also the second-largest pop album of the year.