Those who achieve fame know that their lives are constantly subject to public scrutiny and speculation. Every single move is watched, written about, and often manipulated to sell tabloids. But when Billy Ray Cyrus was still trying to find his place in country music, he had no idea what kind of rumors he'd be subject to.
After Cyrus recorded his first album, he started opening for Parton at her shows. Somehow, the tabloids decided that could be spun to look like a romantic connection, and Cyrus quickly found himself in the headlines. "When I was on her tour, there was a headline that she and I were romantically involved," he said.
When Cyrus went to visit Parton after seeing the headline, he apologized to her for making her the subject of tabloid gossip. But he said that Parton wasn't bothered by the rumors, and as a seasoned pro in show business, she shared her true thoughts about such stories.
"Dolly looked me straight in the eyes and said, 'Honey, that s--- sells records!'" Cyrus recalled. It turns out that Parton was right. Cyrus' debut album, Some Gave All, was the number one album on the charts for 17 weeks in a row.
The two have maintained a close relationship since those early days, and they performed a duet together called "Romeo," which was a chart hit. Cyrus has such a great admiration for Parton that he even asked her to be the godmother to his daughter, Miley, and she accepted.
Looking back on his past, Cyrus knows that he owes his success to Parton. "I love Dolly," he said. "I probably wouldn’t be doing what I'm doing without her,"
Throw it back to Cyrus' early days in country music by watching the video for his duet with Parton.
Did y'all have any idea that Cyrus and Parton ever had romance rumors attached to them?
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