Billy Ray and Tish Cyrus welcomed their daughter Miley in 1992
Music runs in Miley Cyrus’ family.
Her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, has been singing country music for over three decades. His hit song “Achy Breaky Heart” took the radio by storm in 1992, just one year after he met Tish Cyrus at a club. The pair tied the knot in December 1993 and raised five children together: Brandi, Trace, Miley, Braison and Noah. However, in April 2022, the two announced they were divorcing after 29 years of marriage.
Speaking with British Vogue in June 2021, Miley shared how much she values her bond with her family.
“I have a very intimate and close relationship with my family,” she said. “But like all families, we’re also complex, but we embrace the fact that each of us are so different from one another. Me and my siblings, we’re a lot alike, but we also have big differences. And we just accept that and don’t judge each other. And our family makes unconditional love a priority.”
After Miley underwent vocal surgery in 2020, she decided to stay “sober sober” and told Variety her parent's history played a part in her decision.
“At the beginning, it was just about this vocal surgery. ... But I had been thinking a lot about my mother,” she said. “My mom was adopted, and I inherited some of the feelings she had, the abandonment feelings and wanting to prove that you’re wanted and valuable.”
Miley added, “My dad’s parents divorced when he was 3, so my dad raised himself. I did a lot of family history, which has a lot of addiction and mental health challenges. So just going through that and asking, 'Why am I the way that I am?' By understanding the past, we understand the present and the future much more clearly.”
Here’s everything to know about Miley Cyrus’ parents Billy Ray and Tish, and their relationship with the Grammy nominee.
Billy Ray and Tish married in 1993
The pair first met at a club in 1991, a year before the country singer released his hit song “Achy Breaky Heart.” Tish told PEOPLE Now in June 2017 that she caught Billy Ray’s eye because he admired that she wasn’t drinking.
“Do you know the first thing he said to me?” she said. “ ‘I’ve never seen you drink, ever, and I think that’s so cool,' ” noting that her friends at the time were “so rowdy.”
They tied the knot in Tennessee two years later, on Dec. 28, 1993. When Miley married ex-husband Liam Hemsworth around the same time in 2018, Tish celebrated her daughter's nuptials and her 25th anniversary with a post on Instagram.
“25 years ago today @billyraycyrus and I stood in our living room in Franklin Tn and said ‘I Do’. I would definitely say everything has come full circle!” she said in the caption. “I love u Lovey….. if I had to do it all again, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
They have five children together
Billy Ray and Tish are parents to five children. Tish has two kids, Brandi and Trace, from a previous relationship. The country singer adopted them after the couple tied the knot in 1993.
They welcomed their first child together, Miley, in 1992, followed by their son Braison in 1994. Their youngest daughter, Noah, was born in 2000.
Billy Ray and Tish also have one grandchild. Braison welcomed a son, Bear Chance, in June 2021 with his wife, Stella McBride.
Billy Ray and Tish had contrasting opinions about Miley joining showbusiness
Despite having a successful singing career, Billy Ray was wary about Miley joining showbusiness. In a September 2013 interview with Rolling Stone, the pop star revealed that she had to convince her dad to let her audition for Hannah Montana.
“I think he just didn’t want me to feel any kind of rejection,” she said. “He didn’t want me to be hurt by the industry.”
As for Tish, Miley told Rolling Stone that her mom encouraged her acting ambitions because she had dreamed of being a performer herself but didn’t pursue it due to anxiety.
“She danced ballet from the time she was three till she was 30, but she was very shy,” Miley said. “She could never do this, so she wanted it for me. I get anxiety too, and she didn’t want my anxiety to ever stop me from doing it the way it stopped her.”
Billy Ray and Miley have recorded a few songs together
Billy Ray catapulted to country music stardom after he released “Achy Breaky Heart” in 1992 and the hit song peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"You know, something got to me about the song," Cyrus told Rolling Stone in 2014. "When I played it in the club, it just felt like a hit. People just packed the dance floor."
He went on to release his debut album, Some Gave All, that same year and has put out several studio albums since, including Storm in the Heartland, Southern Rain and Back to Tennessee. After appearing in Hannah Montana with Miley, the singer also released a few tracks with his daughter, including “Butterfly Fly Away” and “Ready, Set, Don’t Go.”
While some detractors argued the song wasn't "country" enough, Billy Ray defended the track in a series of tweets. “It was so obvious to me after hearing the song just one time,” he wrote. “I was thinking, what’s not country about it? What’s the rudimentary element of a country and western song? Then I thought, it’s honest, humble, and has an infectious hook, and a banjo. What the hell more do ya need?”
Billy Ray added, “A few days passed and I went to the studio to do vocals. When I finished the pass, I whistled at the end of the song. Thats when the engineer stood up and said, ‘that s--- is fire.’ We’re keeping that!”
Miley came out to Billy Ray and Tish as a teenager
Miley has been very open about her sexuality and is an outspoken advocate for the LGBTQ community. Speaking with Paper magazine in June 2015, Miley recalled a conversation she had with Tish at age 14, where she revealed to her mom that she identified as queer.
"I remember telling her I admire women in a different way. And she asked me what that meant. And I said, 'I love them. I love them like I love boys.' And it was so hard for her to understand," she said. “She didn't want me to be judged, and she didn't want me to go to hell. But she believes in me more than she believes in any god. I just asked for her to accept me. And she has."
In a separate interview with Variety in October 2016, Miley revealed that her mom later apologized for her lack of understanding when she was coming out after witnessing her daughter’s interaction with a contestant on The Voice.
“On The Voice, this young girl started crying when she left, because I’m the reason she came out. My mom started crying,” Miley said. “She was like, ‘I’m so sorry about the way I was when you were that age and coming out.’ She never understood me until she saw that girl who couldn’t be herself. It was very cool.”
The singer also told the outlet that despite her parents' initial reaction, she knew “one day they are going to understand.” After Miley publicly came out as pansexual in 2015, Billy Ray told E! News that their family fully supported her.
“We've always been very open-minded," he said. "Listen, it's all about love and light. Forget the negativity and the haters. She's rocking and rolling and having a good time. What the world needs is love. There's too much hate ... The world needs positive influences."
Tish helped Miley design her California home
While Tish has been Miley’s manager since the start of her career, she also has experience as an interior designer. In 2021, Tish helped design the pop star’s six-bedroom Southern California home.
"My mom's best quality as a mom and as an interior designer is her understanding and non-judgment," Miley told Architectural Digest. "Anything I dream she will create into a reality, even if it isn't her style. She designs for her kids — I am not the only one that uses my mom as an interior designer, all five of us do — the same way she nurtures us. She just wants what's best for us; creating spaces that reflect us is what's best for our mental health, our creativity, our songwriting."
Tish told the outlet that although she had to adjust her “neutral” taste for Miley’s “rock and roll” style, she’s honored her daughter chose her as the interior designer.
"Miley could have hired any designer that she wanted to. But for her to be like, 'Mom, I love what you do, and I really want you to do this house' was awesome," Tish said. "It made me feel so good."
In addition to working in home design, Tish also hosts a podcast with her daughter Brandi called Sorry We’re Stoned. They discuss “family dynamic, interior design, advice with Dear MT, & sPOTlight things we love” on the weekly podcast, according to their podcast's Instagram bio. The mother-daughter duo also starred in a Bravo reality show, Cyrus vs. Cyrus: Design and Conquer, in 2017.
Billy Ray and Tish divorced in 2022
Following two previous divorce filings, Tish once again filed for divorce in April 2022 after more than 28 years of marriage, citing “irreconcilable differences."
"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," the pair said in a joint statement issued exclusively to PEOPLE at the time. "We have grown up together, raised a family we can be so proud of, and it is now time to create our own paths."
They added, "We will always be family and look forward to a continued and loving shared experience as friends and parents. We have not come to this decision lightly or quickly but with so much going on in the world, we wanted to provide some clarity and closure, so we can remain focused on what is important.”
Miley says she and Billy Ray have different relationships with fame
Miley and her dad have both experienced success in the spotlight, but the “Wrecking Ball” singer shared in her August 2023 special Endless Summer Vacation: Continued (Backyard Sessions) that she and Billy Ray have “wildly different” relationships to fame.
"My dad grew up the opposite of me. I grew up on a soundstage, like, 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, I think, in my relationships also," said Miley. "That’s something that my dad didn’t have."
She added, "I think that’s where me and my dad’s relationship to fame and success is wildly different. Him feeling loved by a big audience impacted him emotionally more than it ever could me. When he feels special or important, it’s like healing a childhood wound, and I’ve always been made to feel like a star. It makes me emotional, so I think that’s the difference."
Growing up with a country star as a dad, Miley also said that she learned a lot from how he navigated his career. “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," she added. "I will say that I feel vocally my dad was under-appreciated."
Miley is grateful for Tish’s constant support throughout her career
Tish has been Miley’s long-time manager and has always been very protective of her daughter. In a September 2016 interview with Elle, the singer said she was grateful for her mom’s guidance when she starred in Hannah Montana.
“My mom started understanding how many people take advantage of a child, so she hired smart people to protect me in that way,” she said. “I'm happy that when I was younger, people protected me and put me in a position where I can now control my music.”
During an appearance on the Chicks in the Office podcast in July 2020, Tish shared that while the two didn’t always agree, she’s proud of the woman Miley has become.
"There were those times where she was pushing the boundaries, and we were arguing and I was punishing her ... just being a full mama bear," she said. "But I think she always knew that I did those things because I loved her. And so, it just worked."
Tish — who appeared in Miley's 2019 "Mother's Daughter" music video — added, "She is just so unbelievable. She's just incredible. That's all I can say about her. She likes yoga and working out, eats clean and all this. So whatever I did, I feel like I did right."
In August 2023, Miley released her song “Used to Be Young,” which reflects on her early career and partying days. The music video showed the pop star crying while staring into the camera.
"It’s super emotional because I am kind of a mini-me of my mom [Tish] and I could see her inside of the camera by using a technology where I could livestream with my mom from inside of the camera," Miley said about the music video. "So, we could see each other and as she was dancing it just made me cry, it made me laugh, it brought up so many real emotions and I think it’s really letting people into true emotion, which I don’t feel we get to see very much these days.”
Miley was Tish’s maid of honor at her 2023 wedding
In August 2023, Tish tied the knot with Purcell at Miley's home in Malibu, California. The pop star served as one of her mom’s bridesmaids and wore a blue one-shouldered dress by Bec & Bridge.
In a Vogue profile about the wedding, Miley opened up about how special it was to be there for her mom’s big day.
“My whole life my mom has been behind the scenes,” she said. “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,” Miley added. “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.”
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