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Dolly Parton thinks the haters need to lay off her goddaughter Miley Cyrus.

The country music legend, who recently joked about twerking and her "wrecking balls" during a "Queen Latifah Show" rap, tells the London Evening Standard that the controversial Cyrus is "just trying to find her own place."

"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 says of Cyrus.

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

The older performer says she doesn’t give Cyrus direct professional advice.

"She’s just trying to find her own place and wings and learn to fly," says Parton. "If she needs my opinion on something I will surely give it and there have been times we’ve talked."

Parton trusts Cyrus' instincts.

She explains, "I know that she has thought this all through. We’ll let her go and do her own thing."

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

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