From Lady Gaga to Michael Jackson - Surprising Celebrity Godparents

PHOTO: Miley Cyrus Dolly Parton
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Country legend Dolly Parton recently defended Miley Cyrus to the London Evening Standard, saying the "Wrecking Ball" singer, 20, was "just trying to find her own place."

It's not surprising that Parton, 67, could relate to the bashing of the twerking star, having herself been in the music industry for almost 50 years and endured her share of knocks.

What is surprising is that Parton defended Cyrus as her godmother.

"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," Parton said. "I don't think people really realize yet what a great singer and writer she really is." Parton worked with and became close to Cyrus' father, Billy Ray, who opened for her in 1992 and collaborated with her in 1993 on her song "Romeo."

Parton and Cyrus aren't the only celebrity duo to have a godparent relationship. From pop icons to hunky film stars, check out some other movie stars and musicians who have taken on the very important role of mentor to a close friend's son or daughter.

PHOTO: Lady Gaga and Elton John perform on stage during the Almay concert to celebrate the Rainforest Fund's 21st birthday on May 13, 2010 in New York.
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Lady Gaga - Elton John's Sons Zachary and Elijah

The "Tiny Dancer" singer and his partner David Furnish chose Gaga as godmother to his sons and couldn't be happier with the decision. "She's a great role model, she's young [and] she's been a great godmother to Zachary," John told Extra.

PHOTO: Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal at the 58th Annual Directors Guild of America Awards, Jan. 28, 2006.
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Jake Gyllenhaal - Michelle Williams and Heath Ledger's Daughter Matilda

Gyllenhaal and Ledger met when they both auditioned for 2001's "Moulin Rouge." Years later, they would break down barriers and earn acclaim together in 2005's "Brokeback Mountain." Of the experience, Gyllenhaal told the Daily Mirror, "Heath and I are best friends now, making the film was very intense for us. I'm actually godfather to Heath's daughter, Matilda, which is an amazing honor."

PHOTO: Nicole Richie attends Macy's Celebrates NBC's New Primetime Series, Fashion Star, at Macy's Herald Square on March 13, 2012 in New York. Michael Jackson poses at a press conference before a date on his HIStory world tour in 1996.
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Michael Jackson - Lionel Richie's Daughter Nicole Richie

Jackson and Lionel Richie were close friends and wrote the blockbuster smash hit "We Are the World" together in 1985. " I grew up with him," Nicole Richie told Access Hollywood. "I have spent many evenings [at Neverland Ranch] and many days there." Lionel Richie had similar sentiments, saying after his death, "He was bigger than life, and had so much more to deliver."

PHOTO: Courtney Love and Drew Barrymore during 1999 Blockbuster Awards in Los Angeles.
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Drew Barrymore - Courtney Love's Daughter Frances Bean Cobain

A 19-year-old Courtney Love met Drew Barrymore when she was only 8, and the two became instant friends. Frances Bean, 21, was the flower girl at Barrymore's wedding to Tom Green. But Barrymore and Cobain have lost touch in recent years. She told Jane Magazine, "Courtney and I have not seen each other in a while, so I haven't had the pleasure of being in Frances' life for a few years. That's a great loss for me, and I hope to reconnect with her."

PHOTO: Johnny Depp and film director Tim Burton pose during a photo session at the press conference on his latest movie, "Dark Shadow" in Tokyo on May 13, 2012.
Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images
Johnny Depp - Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter's sons Nell and Billy

Johnny Depp and Tim Burton have worked together more times than you can count in such movies as "Edward Scissorhands" and "Ed." Bonham Carter told Indie London that she made Depp godfather to both her children because she didn't want one to get jealous over the other having Depp as a godparent. "But he always looks scary – he was Sweeney Todd, he was Willy Wonka. ... It is scary," she said. "So they're both a bit scared of him, I think. He does great things, though. ... There was a pirate birthday, so he sent a full-on best Captain Jack outfit with an amazing wig."

PHOTO: Actress Gwyneth Paltrow and her family watch the game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on Sept. 11, 2013 in Los Angeles.
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Simon Pegg - Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin's Daughter Apple

The comedian and actor is best buds with the coldplay frontman and was blessed with the honor of being Apple's godfather. "I'd like to think I'm a really great, fun godfather," he said. "It's much more interesting than trying to be a good influence on her. I'm a comedian – it's what they expect." Pegg has said that with Martin being godfather to his daughter, Matilda, as well, it's hard to reciprocate certain gestures the singer does for the comedian's daughter. "[Chris] sang a song for [Matilda] in Berlin when she was born," Pegg said. "He dedicated one of the songs, and I was really chuffed about it." A song? How do you compete with that?

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