Grammys 2019: Miley Cyrus Pays Tribute to Godmother Dolly Parton at MusiCares Party

Miley Cyrus paid tribute to her godmother, county music legend Dolly Parton, during the annual MusiCares party Friday night before Sunday's Grammy Awards.

Parton is this year's MusiCares Person of the Year, an honor handed out by the Recording Academy as part of the Grammy week celebrations to celebrate a music legend's dedication to philanthropy and their careers. Parton, 73, is the first country artist to receive the honor, a year after Fleetwood Mac became the first group honored. This year, the academy hosted a party at the Los Angeles Convention Center to celebrate Parton's honor.

"She’s the most non-judgmental person I’ve ever [known] in the world," Cyrus told PEOPLE at the red carpet.

During the gala event, Cyrus sang "Islands in the Stream," a smash hit for Parton and Kenny Rogers in 1983, with Shawn Mendes and producer Mark Ronson.

"I’m doing ‘Islands in the Stream’ tonight, so I have this banana leaf as a little, kind of island, tropical moment," Cyrus said before the show.

She added, "I’m just looking forward to listening to all her songs tonight and not having to listen to anything else. I listened to a station the other day called Dolly Radio and they started playing other artists. And I thought, ‘No! I only want to listen to Dolly when I’m listening to Dolly Radio.’ Tonight, it’s all Dolly songs.”

Cyrus' father, Billy Ray Cyrus, is longtime friends with Parton and named the "Jolene" singer his daughter's godmother. Parton and Cyrus have worked together several times over the years, including the song "Rainbowland" on 2017's Younger Now.

Cyrus will also play a major role in the Parton tribute during the main Grammys broadcast. She will join Katy Perry, Kacey Musgraves, Maren Morris and Little Big Town to perform Parton songs. Parton herself will then take the Grammy stage for the first time since 2001 to sing a song from Netflix's Dumplin'.

Parton has won eight Grammys out of 47 nominations during her career and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Her most recent win came in 2017 for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for her a cappella version of "Jolene" with Pentatonix.

"I truly am honored to be the MusiCares Person Of The Year and the first country artist to be honored," Parton said Friday. "I can truly feel the love in this house tonight ... it's a long long way from hills of East Tennessee to the Hollywood Hills, but it has been a wonderful journey."


The 61st Grammy Awards begin at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

Photo credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy