Higher and Higher singer Dolly Parton has defended her goddaughter Miley Cyrus insisting singers almost have to sacrifice their souls to make an impact.

The 67-year-old star admitted that she doesn't think people realise how talented the Wrecking Ball hitmaker is.

Speaking to the London Evening Standard, Dolly said: ''It's not easy being young. It's hard to know what to do. You've almost got to sacrifice your damn soul just to get anything done.

''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.

''I don't think people really realise yet what a great singer and writer she really is.''

Dolly further explained that she wouldn't offer Miley any advice, saying: ''She's just trying to find her own place and wings and learn to fly.

''If she needs my opinion on something I will surely give it and there have been times we've talked.

''But I would never dream of calling her and saying, 'Well why are you doing this?' or, 'You shouldn't do this or that'. I know that she has thought this all through. We'll let her go and do her own thing.''

However, Parton would love to do some duets with her relative, saying: ''I would love to do some duets with her. I would love to sing with her and write with her because I think she is so gifted.''