Before Miley Cyrus had a dramatic shift in public image from her teen idol persona to a more provocative and scene-stealing version of herself, she had been entangled in a disparity against her dad. During her glory days in her hit Disney show, Hannah Montana, her father, Billy Ray Cyrus revealed in numerous interviews that the show was responsible for “destroying” the bonds that used to keep their family together.
His interview followed Miley’s leaked series of scandalous photos and videos. The controversial footage and pictures involved Miley posing topless for Vanity Fair magazine at 15, the singer’s provocative outfits, her pole dancing feats and a video of her smoking a bong during her 18th birthday.
Despite co-starring with his daughter in the said show, Billy Cyrus strongly believes that Miley’s breakthrough stardom in Hannah Montana transformed their supposedly peaceful and warm family dynamics into something cold, bitter and remorseful. After the bong video was leaked, Billy shares that he avoided his daughter for weeks. At first, he admits that having gone through his teenage years, he, too, made irresponsible decisions did impractical things on impulse. “There’s no doubt I did stuff when I was a teenager that I’m sure could have turned out horribly. I’ve done some stupid crap—I do stupid crap.” However, he clarifies that “It’s different when you sit back and you see it happening to your little girl. It’s my daughter.”
For Miley’s 18th birthday, Billy refused to attend because he knew that he would only be blamed and used should his daughter do anything to attract negative attention to herself. The then-teen idol and Hannah Montana star celebrated her debut in a bar. Her dad was against the idea of his precious princess would celebrate in a manner that’s too mature and unbecoming for her age. “Once again all them people, they all wanted me to fly out so that then when all the bad press came they could say, ‘Daddy endorsed this stuff…’ I started realizing I’m being used. If I would have went out there, I would have been right in the middle of all this stuff that’s going on right now with the bong. They’d be hanging it on my ass.”
But Billy Cyrus wasn’t all about rage when it came to his daughter’s breakthrough stardom. He contemplated—not as a co-star or a fellow singer but as a father to Miley—that he should have dedicated more time and effort being a parent to her instead of trying to form a platonic relationship with his little girl. After all, taping the show’s fourth season was a crucial time for both Billy and Miley because that was also the moment when Billy’s marriage with ex-wife Leticia started falling down to rock bottom. Since his daughter’s scandals made waves all over the media, he began fearing that Miley is being surrounded by suspicious people who will do nothing but bring her close to a great deal of danger.
As an artist, Miley has never been the type that people could easily fit into a box. She had unpredictable strides, and it seemed she never really settled into one particular image throughout her career. This makes her dad’s disdain understandable because when you do get a taste of stardom, not everything around you will always be about glitz and glamour. There are dark sides to the music and TV industry that we can never really deny or pretend to not exist. We’ve witnessed countless singers and stars fall prey to drug abuse and immensely hurtful words thrown at them by critics. It is also true that in showbiz, not all the people who smile and wave at you can be considered a true, loyal friend, so it’s always important to have someone you trust to watch your back.
All in all, Billy Cyrus was simply letting his fatherly instincts take over his perspectives as an artist. As they say, blood is thicker than water. “I’m her daddy so maybe I’m a little sensitive to it, but now’s a real good time to make sure everything’s ok. An ounce of prevention’s worth a pound of cure.”
We couldn’t agree more.