Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus's Father-Daughter Relationship Is More Fragile Than a "Plastic Heart"

Jamie Lerner - Author

Feb. 6 2024, Published 5:41 p.m. ET

Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus singing together at Glastonbury in 2019
Source: Getty Images

Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus singing together at Glastonbury in 2019

History was made at the 2024 Grammys by several women — Taylor Swift won Album of the Year the most times in history, Billie Eilish (and her brother Finneas) won Song of the Year for the second time, and Victoria Monét extended the all-female Best New Artist streak to seven years in a row. Plus, Miley Cyrus finally won her first Grammy!

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Miley’s well-deserved Grammy for her chart-topper, “Flowers,” naturally came with a speech (and an iconic performance) from Miley. In her speech, Miley thanked her mom and sisters, as well as her boyfriend, Maxx Morando, but didn’t thank her father, Billy Ray Cyrus. However, when we think back to the beginning of Miley’s career, Billy Ray was right there beside her. So what happened between Miley and Billy Ray?

Miley, Tish, and Billy Ray Cyrus
Source: Getty Images

Miley with her parents Tish and Billy Ray Cyrus in 2019

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What happened with Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus? They used to be thick as thieves.

When Miley first broke into the entertainment industry, she starred alongside her dad in Hannah Montana. She played Miley Stewart, who had a superstar alias of Hannah Montana, while Billy Ray played her loving, goofy, and sometimes misguided single father. Together, the on and offscreen father-daughter duo took over Disney Channel as Miley was like a sister to millennials, and Billy Ray was like our collective dad.

Throughout the years, they seemingly managed to stay close, even through Miley’s party phase and her parents’ on-and-off-again relationship. “I have a very intimate and close relationship with my family,” she told Vogue in 2021. “But like all families, we’re also complex, but we embrace the fact that each of us is so different from one another. Me and my siblings, we’re a lot alike, but we also have big differences."

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Billy Ray and Miley Cyrus in 'Hannah Montana'
Source: Disney

Billy Ray and Miley Cyrus on 'Hannah Montana'

She added: "And we just accept that and don’t judge each other. And our family makes unconditional love a priority."

For the record, Miley has a huge family. She has three older half-siblings. Miley's mom Tish Cyrus (née Leticia Finley) came into her relationship with Billy Ray with Brandi Cyrus, born May 26, 1987, and Trace Cyrus, born Feb. 24, 1989. Billy Ray and his ex-girlfriend Kristin Luckey gave birth to Christopher Cody Cyrus on April 8, 1992.

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Miley was then born seven months later on Nov. 23, 1992. Miley’s two younger siblings, Braison Cyrus and Noah Cyrus, were born in 1994 and 2000, respectively. The six Cyrus siblings, however, seem to be close. But when Tish and Billy Ray started going through marriage troubles in 2010, things started to change between Billy Ray and Miley.

Billy Ray and baby Miley Cyrus in 1994
Source: Getty Images

Billy Ray Cyrus and baby Miley in 1994

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Miley has stayed closer to Tish than to Billy Ray throughout their divorce.

A divorce between parents can be complicated, especially when you’re an adult. While it can be challenging for kids, it becomes their norm, whereas for an adult, parents often lean on you as a confidante and friend. This can create blurred lines between relationships and cause tension with the other parent, so it’s very possible that Miley and her siblings dealt with some of that.

Billy Ray and Tish were on and off again starting in 2010 when they first announced their divorce around the same time Hannah Montana ended. However, a year later, they shared that they were back together. The same thing happened in June 2013 but less than a month later they shared that couples counseling was extremely effective.

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Tish, Billy Ray, Noah, and Brandi Cyrus in 2017
Source: Getty Images

(L-R): Tish, Billy Ray, Noah, and Brandi Cyrus in 2017

Finally, however, in April 2022, Tish filed for divorce and it stuck. Billy Ray and Tish hadn’t lived together since 2020, and despite becoming grandparents to son Braison’s son, Bear Chance Cyrus, they couldn’t reconcile their differences.

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"It is after 30 years, five amazing children, and a lifetime of memories, we have decided to go our separate ways — not with sadness, but with love in our hearts," Tish and Billy Ray told People in a statement. "We have grown up together, raised a family we can be so proud of, and it is now time to create our own paths."

Tish, Billy Ray, and Miley Cyrus with an "I <3 Noah Cyrus!" sign in 2017
Source: Getty Images

(L-R): Tish, Billy Ray, and Miley Cyrus in 2017

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Miley was present at Tish’s second wedding to Prison Break actor Dominic Purcell in August 2023 but was noticeably absent from Billy Ray’s second wedding to Australian singer Firerose, who’s just three years older than Miley. Sources have confirmed that between Billy Ray and Tish’s divorce, along with Billy Ray’s new flame, his relationship with Miley has been strained.

"The divorce between her parents put a strain on her relationship with her dad and it's been hard to connect with him in the last year," a source told E! News. "She hopes they can eventually work on their relationship." While the source confirmed that Miley “doesn’t have a relationship” with Firerose, they added, “She, of course, hopes he is happy. But Miley has been closer to her mom Tish throughout the divorce."

Whatever happened between Miley and Billy Ray, we hope they can work it out!

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