"I've never met anyone that doesn't like Dolly Parton. And it's safe to say if they don't like her, it's only because they love her," Cyrus gushed. "Dolly Parton has influenced music beyond her own genre."
"Dolly has paved the way for other women songwriters, encouraging them to take ownership and get the credit that they deserve -- an issue many women in the songwriting industry still struggle with today," she continued. "When Elvis sought to record Dolly's 'I Will Always Love You,' Dolly famously said no, keeping control of her song that Elvis wanted half of the publishing royalties to. Slay all day, Dolly."
During her acceptance speech, Parton thanked her "fairy goddaughter Miley" before sharing how much the award means to her.
"I'm very appreciative of this. I've been with Billboard for so many years, had so many hits on the charts there and I'm very grateful for that," she said. "Of course, I'm proud of all of the wonderful women in show business that write all of these wonderful songs."
"I'd like to acknowledge a few -- some of them older kind of back in my day. Cindy Walker, who wrote some of the greatest songs ever and of course Loretta Lynn, wonderful wonderful songwriter," Parton added. "And this day in time, of course, Taylor Swift, she's just right up there, probably number one. And of course, Brandi Carlile, there's just so many…I think it's so important that we acknowledge the women that write and sing in country music. And I think it's also very important that they take control of their own business."
ET spoke with Parton back in October while she was promoting her memoir, Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics. She shared why this felt like the perfect time to reflect on her life's work through the lens of her songs.
"I had to have something to do," Parton said, referring to the nationwide shutdowns that have been enacted in response to the coronavirus pandemic. "Couldn't get out in concert. Had to make a living somehow."
"I let people have a glimpse into a lot of old photos, and my growing up in the business, a lot of family photos, and some of my early days as well," Parton said of her new book. "Even for my true fans, I think they're gonna get a lot of new stuff that they'll enjoy when they thought they knew everything about me. They'll find a few little nuggets that they didn't know."