Miley Cyrus proved that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery on Sunday, when she impersonated her godmother Dolly Parton. The "Mother's Daughter" singer gave a shout-out to Parton as she turned 74, sharing a clip from behind the scenes of a 2017 appearance on The Tonight Show. Cyrus' impression was remarkably spot-on.
"Happy Birthday Aunt Dolly!!!!!" Cyrus wrote alongside the video. She tagged Parton and included a suggestive emoticon.
The video showed Cyrus in costume as Parton, complete with a curly bleach-blonde wig and a padded bra. She was applying lip gloss in a dressing room mirror, then shimmying in a black dress that Parton could have worn herself.
In fact, she very well might have, as the last slide in the post showed the final product. It featured a clip of Cyrus and Jimmy Fallon in costume as Parton and Kenny Rogers, singing "Islands in the Stream." Playing simultaneously was the original clip of Parton and Rogers singing the same duet, and the resemblance was uncanny.
Of course, the skit was especially meaningful for Cyrus, who has known Parton her whole life as a part of the family. Her father, Billy Ray Cyrus named Parton her godmother, fans found out in 2013, when Parton revealed the connection in an interview with Anderson Cooper.
"[I told Billy Ray], I don't know if I'll be around to where I can actually do all the duties that a godmother does," she said. "So let me be her fairy godmother."
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After that revelation, fans noticed how often Parton had publicly praised Cyrus, and defended her during her most controversial eras. One 2010 clip from Access Hollywood stood out in particular.
"If you think I'm going to sit here and pass judgement on Miley, you're wrong," Parton said at the time. "She's precious. I love her and I have nothing but wonderful things to wish for her and wonderful things to say about her."
"I remember myself at her age. We've all been a bit too hard on her," she told Parade in 2012. "I hope she holds it together because there's a world of things she can do. She should keep an eye on things and make wise decisions."0comments
Parton thanked her fans, friends and family for their birthday wishes on Sunday, including Cyrus. She re-posted a photo of them together on her Instagram Story, adding butterfly animations over it.
"Happy birthday to the woman who taught me to glue down a lace front," it read. "I'll love you forever Aunt Dolly!"