As the former star of Disney's Hannah Montana, Miley Cyrus played a teenage girl whose alter ego was a world-famous pop sensation. In real life, though, Cyrus says her closest counterpart is someone a little edgier -- Lil Kim. Speaking to Billboard.com about her top five favorite female musicians, the "We Can't Stop" singer ranked Lil Kim at No. 3, explaining that she feels a kind of cosmic kinship with the X-rated rapper.
"In my past life, I feel like that was me. I feel like Lil Kim is who I am on the inside," Cyrus, 20, revealed. "She just makes me happy...I just love her. And I can't help that I love her."
Cyrus also had some kind words for Lil Kim's sometimes rival Nicki Minaj. "You can't choose one -- if you say Kim, then you've gotta say Nicki," she explained of her No. 4 pick. "Nicki is now like my Lil Kim of my generation."
No. 5 on Cyrus' list is bluesy singer-songwriter Beth Hart. "She's got one of the best voices I feel like of all-time," Cyrus says. "She just wails. And she went through a lot in her past."
Speaking of the past, Cyrus ranks 1980s rocker Joan Jett at No. 2. "When I was growing up, that was always who I wanted to be," she tells Billboard of the "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" singer. "To me, she represents a different time when females weren't supposed to be able to kick ass the way that she came out and did. She made that path for all of us, so we just have to respect her."
The former Disney star's all-time favorite female singer, though, is someone a little closer to her family's country-music roots. "No. 1 has to be Dolly Parton, because she's my godmother, and because she is a real-life Barbie doll, and I love that," Cyrus gushes. "She is a legend, and her music represents my whole childhood...She's just the most special person in the world."
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This article originally appeared on Usmagazine.com: Miley Cyrus on Lil Kim: "In My Past Life, I Feel Like That Was Me"