The country stars toured together in 1992 and gossips were quick to latch on to reports they were a couple backstage, prompting naive Billy Ray to apologise to Dolly for any embarrassment the stories might be causing her.

"There was a headline that she and I were romantically involved," he tells Closer magazine. "My manager took me to meet her for the first time and I said, 'I'm so sorry'. Dolly looked me straight in the eyes and said, 'Honey, that s**t sells records!'

"Next thing I knew, (debut album) Some Gave All was number one for 17 weeks in a row!"

Dolly and Billy Ray became great friends and she's now godmother to his daughter Miley.

Cyrus admits he owes an awful lot to the country music legend: "I love Dolly," he gushes. "I probably wouldn't be doing what I'm doing without her... She was there in 1992 when I went from living in my Chevy Beretta to recording my first album. Pretty soon after that, I was opening her shows!"