Miley Cyrus spoke to TODAY’s Hoda Kotb about teaming up with Dolly Parton this year for NBC’s “Miley’s New Year’s Eve Party” on Dec. 31. Hoda, who’s co-hosting NBC’s “A Toast to 2022!” with Jenna Bush Hager at 8 p.m. ET, learned about why Miley considered dyeing her hair a different color for the event — but Parton objected.
"I’ve never seen Dolly actually scared before," Cyrus said of her godmother. "She acted like I told her the worst news you could imagine."
In between laughs, Cyrus described how Parton "clutched her pearls, gasped, and went back" upon hearing the news.
"And she goes, 'You can’t do that. You are me.' So I’m somehow some extension of Dolly Parton, where she looked like I had just given her the worst news you’ve ever heard. So I will be blond."
Cyrus, 30, said that was one lesson learned, but of course she’s picked up so much from the “Jolene” singer over the years. She said the biggest lesson she’s learned so far is another style tip.
“The meaning of a great seamstress,” Cyrus said, laughing, “that knows how to suck it in all the right places” is the best thing Parton has imparted to her.
The “Midnight Sky” singer has been testing out outfits for the event and has yet to get the “Islands in the Stream” singer’s approval.
“I showed up to our promo shoot in a dress that I thought was very Dolly Parton,” Cyrus explained. “I had everything that you need to be very Dolly Parton, and big hair, and full lip gloss. My lips were stickin’ together, the whole thing. And she goes, ‘So you know, how va-va-voom are we going for New Year’s?’ And I said, ‘Well, what do you think about this dress, on a scale of one to va-va-voom?’”
“And she goes, ‘Well, I think you look very conservative,’” Cyrus recalled.
The wardrobing will come, but really their relationship will be on display, Cyrus said.
“People are gonna be affected by the show. There’s a chemistry, and a realness, and a love, and a connection that her and I have that I really feel,” she described, adding that Parton wanted her show “Mountain Magic” on Peacock plugged during the event and traded her a pair of shoes to get it.
Cyrus also said, “You can see our chemistry and I really don’t think there’s much to write. There’s not much to choreograph. It’s all right there.”
Some performers slated for the night include Grammy winner Sia, rapper Latto, and hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd.
Cyrus skyrocketed into fame when “Hannah Montana” was the height of Disney Channel. She said it all started on a whim.
“I just had an idea that I wanted to go to a singing lesson,” she told Hoda. “And then I had another idea that I maybe wanted to go to an acting class. And then one of my friends got an agent, so I asked my mom, ‘Oh, could I go with her to some of the auditions?’ And it just happened.”
Cyrus said garnering such fame at a young age, and still being widely popular, has been unimaginable.
“When I really think about who I am and what I’ve — it makes me emotional to think about, because only probably about three days ago did I ever look around and go, ‘I just did this.’”
She said a silver lining is that it’s all happened without her compromising who she is.
“Somehow I am completely different, and then somehow I’m exactly the same. And anyone that knows me would say the same thing. If you watch a video of me at 6 or 7 years old, it’s exactly who’s sitting here talking to you now,” she explained.
Her goal now, she said, is to keep having fun.
“Sometimes, that obsession with perfection, it gets in the way of the fun. And I guess that’s what I’ve found ... in my 30s. I mean, my 20s were so much fun ... But it’s a different kind of fun. I feel that whatever I had in my purpose to prove, I did that. And now it’s less about proving to others and more about for myself.”
Now that she’s older, Cyrus wants to prioritize following through on what she signs up for.
“One of my things that I promised myself when I turned 30 was I (was going to) take my commitments to others very seriously. And sometimes those commitments I don’t take as serious for myself. So now, when I say something or commit, it’s like a contract to me,” she said.
Her first commitment of the new year will be hosting the NBC event with Parton.
“I am very hopeful for 2023. I love new beginnings. Me and Dolly, she says, ‘You be you. I be me. And together, we’ve got the perfect show.’”