Timbaland sees Miley Cyrus as a female Justin Timberlake.

The Grammy Award-winning producer - who worked with Miley on the track 'We Belong to the Music', on his album 'Shock Value II' - said he was very impressed with her work ethic and thinks she'll make a very a smooth transition from teen sensation to a fully-fledged pop star.

He said: "I look at Miley as a female Justin Timberlake. The reason why I say that is her work ethics are incredible. That girl can sing so good that I was very impressed. I couldn't believe it. I'm like, 'This is Miley Cyrus? She's singing the song?' "

Timbaland said he sat with the 17-year-old 'Hannah Montana' star for hours trying to get the song - which is about needing only the music and nothing else - just right.

He said: "She went in and knocked it out. She killed it. She loved the song, so she killed it."

The 38-year-old music sensation said he hoped Miley will be given the creative freedom to make the leap into making adult music.

He told MTV: "When you go that teenybopper route, you can only be big in two places - either TV or music. And hers, unfortunately, is TV. So she's big at TV and music. She's got to build up to that.

"She's going to get there - watch. We developed a great relationship."