Miley Cyrus’ mother Tish Cyrus shut down her ex-husband Billy Ray Cyrus’ claims that the hit show “Hannah Montana” “destroyed” their family.
Miley, 31, and her father Billy Ray, 62, starred on the Disney Channel teen sitcom for four seasons from 2006 to 2011. The massive success of “Hannah Montana” made Miley a star while also supercharging the career of Billy Ray, who was already an established country singer.
However, Billy Ray lamented the impact that he believed “Hannah Montana” had on their family during a 2011 interview with GQ. While appearing on the “Call Her Daddy” podcast Wednesday with her oldest daughter Brandi Cyrus, 36, the two firmly disputed Billy Ray’s past comments.
“Absolutely not,” Tish said when asked if she agreed with Billy Ray’s assertion that the Cyrus family had been “destroyed” by the show.
“Not at all,” Brandi agreed. “I mean the family’s not destroyed, first of all. We’re doing great.”
“No, I just think he was having a moment,” Tish said.
Billy Ray and Tish welcomed Miley in 1992 and the former couple married the following year. In addition to Miley, the two share son Braison, 29, and daughter Noah, 24. Billy Ray is also father to Christopher Cody Cyrus, whom he shares with Kristen Luckey. Tish is mother to Brandi and son Trace from a previous relationship. After marrying Tish, Billy Ray adopted Brandi and Trace.
Tish and Billy Ray weathered several ups and downs in their marriage before going their separate ways after 30 years together in 2023. Billy Ray filed for divorce in 2010, but the two reconciled the following year. In June 2013, Tish filed for divorce, but the couple reunited a month later.
Billy Ray’s 2011 remarks to GQ about “Hannah Montana’s” effect on his family came shortly after the show concluded and amid his first split with Tish.
When asked if he believed that “Hannah Montana” played any part in his family’s troubles and his then-impending divorce, Billy Ray told the outlet, “Oh, it’s huge — it destroyed my family.”
He continued, “I’ll tell you right now — the damn show destroyed my family. And I sit there and go, ‘Yeah, you know what? Some gave all.’ It is my motto, and guess what? I have to eat that one. I some-gave-all’d it all right. I some-gave-all’d it while everybody else was going to the bank. It’s all sad.”
The singer was then asked if he “wished ‘Hannah Montana never happened.’
“I hate to say it, but yes, I do,” Billy Ray said. “Yeah. I’d take it back in a second. For my family to be here and just be everybody okay, safe and sound and happy and normal, would have been fantastic. Heck, yeah. I’d erase it all in a second if I could.”
While appearing on the “Call Her Daddy” podcast, Tish revealed that she was the one who first suggested that Billy Ray to audition for his role on “Hannah Montana.”
“I’m trying to be politically correct,” she said before recalling she believed at the time that Billy Ray’s career had stalled after the success of his hit 1992 song “Achy Breaky Heart.”
“I mean, he had done ‘Achy Breaky’ and nothing else was working,” Tish said. “And then I brought Miley out to audition for ‘Hannah’ and she had gotten it, and then one of the casting directors said a joke, like, ‘Too bad we can’t afford her real dad!’ And I said, ‘Oh, maybe you can.’”
Tish explained that Billy Ray had filmed another show in Toronto at the time and the family was dividing their time between their home between the Canadian city and their home in Tennessee.
“We all had to go back and forth, and it was really hard on the kids,” she recalled.
“Miley had already gotten ‘Hannah, and I was already stressed about, ‘What are we gonna do?’” Tish continued. “I couldn’t, as a mom, have half my kids in Tennessee and be out [in Los Angeles] with Miley, like I just could not do that.
And so I was like, ‘I have to bring all the kids.’ And so that’s when I said to Billy Ray, ‘You should come audition for the dad. Because they love you and they’re really interested. Yes, it would be a pay cut but our family could be together.’”
Tish, who is Miley’s longtime manager, reflected on the challenges that she faced while balancing overseeing the teen actress’s career and devoting enough time to her other children. She explained that she felt like a “single parent” at the time due to Billy Ray and Miley’s demanding filming schedules for “Hannah Montana.”
“I look back on it, and I honestly don’t know how I did it,” Tish said. “It was not easy.”
She continued, “But I just made it work, and I took the kids. I mean, it was a sacrifice for everyone.”
Tish’s comments come amid rumors of a feud within the Cyrus family. The speculation began after Noah Cyrus didn’t attend Tish Cyrus’ wedding to Dominic Purcell in August 2023. Noah and Braison, were noticeably absent from their mother’s wedding at the end of the summer. The siblings reportedly spent their mother’s wedding day together, posting a since-expired Instagram story of an outing to Walmart where Noah wore a Billy Ray shirt.
Meanwhile, Miley served as her mother’s maid of honor for the big moment and walked Tish down the aisle during the Malibu nuptials. Tish’s wedding was also attended by Brandi and Trace.
“My whole life my mom has been behind the scenes,” Miley told Vogue. “She was always the one getting me ready for big days, starting with cheerleading competitions, then eventually on sets or backstage before a performance. She has never stopped celebrating me and has been so supportive of my decisions. I feel honored to be that person for her now that I’m older.”
“To see my mom this happy and in love is very emotional for me,” she added. “Dom and my mom share the sweetest, most genuine love. It’s almost like it’s for the first time, which is so fitting for my mom who is such a young soul. Since they met, they both started aging in reverse. Somehow, my mom has gotten even more beautiful. The day was as special and magical as they are. To stand beside my mother and give her away to Dom is a moment I will cherish for the rest of my life.”
Months later, Miley was absent as Billy Ray married Australian singer Firerose, 34. The couple announced their engagement in November 2022. At the time, Billy Ray revealed to People magazine he first met Firerose 13 years ago on the set of “Hannah Montana” when she auditioned for a part.
Although Firerose did not get the role, Billy Ray said he immediately recognized her “star” quality and introduced her to a handful of producers in the industry. The “Busy Man” hitmaker said he and Firerose became friends. The duo’s friendship blossomed into romance after Billy Ray and Tish filed for divorce for the third time and Firerose moved in with the two-time Grammy Award winner shortly after.
A month after the couple’s engagement was announced, Miley and Billy Ray unfollowed each other on Instagram.
“The divorce between her parents have put a strain on her relationship with her dad, and it’s been hard to connect with him in the last year,” a source previously told E! News in 2022 of Miley. “She hopes they can eventually work on their relationship.”
After Tish filed for divorce in 2022, Billy Ray attempted to shut down feud rumors, saying, “Everyone knew that that relationship was over a long time ago. Everybody’s turning the page. It’s been a lot, but everyone knew that it was time for a change.”
At the time of the divorce filing, the former couple revealed they had been separated for two years.
Miley has rarely spoken about her father in the years since, but she did speak out in August 2023 about how they view fame “wildly” differently.
“My dad grew up the opposite of me. I grew up on a soundstage in a house with a family that was super close and all lived under the same roof, and I grew up financially stable and emotionally stable. … That’s something that my dad didn’t have,” she said during her TikTok series, “Used To Be Young.”
“I do have a lot of great memories singing music with my dad and learning and watching his voice and the way that he’s using the instrument,” Miley said.
“I will say that I feel vocally my dad was underappreciated,” she added.
However, rumors of a rift between Miley and Billy Ray were further fueled last Sunday when the “Party in the U.S.A” hitmaker won her first-ever Grammy Award. Miley took home two awards: best solo pop performance and record of the year.
After winning the Grammy Award for record of the year for her hit song “Flowers,” Miley notably snubbed her father in her acceptance speech.
Miley thanked her team, Columbia Records, her mother, Brandi and her boyfriend Maxx Morando, 25, while leaving out her father, Noah, Trace and Braison . Miley told the audience she wanted to specifically thank “our teams, my team, Crush, Columbia, my mommy, my sister, my love, my ‘main gays,’ because look how good I look. Anyone else? Your wife, your fiancée, all the people that we love. Thank you all so much.”
“I don’t think I forgot anyone,” she concluded before adding, “But I might have forgotten underwear. Bye!”
Billy Ray did not publicly congratulate his daughter on her Grammy Award wins. However, he shared an Instagram post on Tuesday with a caption that some fans interpreted as alluding to the rumored feud.
“Love is the answer,” Billy Ray wrote alongside a photo of himself cozying up with Firerose in a field.
In addition to speculation of a feud between Billy Ray and Miley, rumors have swirled of a rift among the Cyrus siblings. Fans have suggested that Noah and Braison’s absence from Tish’s wedding indicated that the siblings have taken sides over their parents’ divorce and Billy Ray’s remarriage.
Noah made headlines last October after she left a comment on a video from Miley’s 2020 appearance on “The Joe Rogan Experience.”
At the time, Miley described Noah as an “emo kid” and said while she “loved” her sister’s song “The End of Everything,” which was released that year, she added, “It’s the most depressing EP you’ll ever listen to.”
“The disrespect in this video…” Noah commented.
After the clip circulated online, fans noted that Noah’s comment came three years after Miley’s interview and in the midst of the rumored Cyrus family feud.
Fox News Digital’s Lauryn Overhultz contributed to this report.