Did Hannah Montana Destroy Miley Cyrus’ Family? Tish Says…

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Miley Cyrus Excludes Dad Billy Ray Cyrus From GRAMMYs Speech

According to Tish Cyrus, Hannah Montana wasn’t the wrecking ball Billy Ray Cyrus made it out to be.

In fact, Miley Cyrus‘ mom shut down the “Achy Breaky Heart” singer’s 2011 assertion that the Disney Channel series “destroyed” their family.

“Absolutely not,” Tish—who officially divorced Billy in 2022—said on the Feb. 6 episode of the Call Her Daddy podcast. “I just think he was having a moment.”

While eldest daughter Brandi Cyrus, who joined Tish for the interview, concurred. “The family’s not destroyed, first of all,” the 36-year-old noted. “We’re doing great.”

Tish—also mother to Trace Cyrus, 34, Braison Cyrus, 29, and Noah Cyrus, 24—then offered her own take on Billy Ray’s mindset regarding Hannah Montana. “I’m trying to be politically correct,” she began. “He had done ‘Achy Breaky’ and nothing else was working.”

The 1992 song is Billy Ray’s debut single and one of his most successful records, hitting No. 1 on charts around the world.

When Hannah Montana debuted on the Disney Channel in 2006, the country star had not had a top 10 single in eight years and had not had acting work since he ended a five-season run as the star of the Canadian-produced medical drama series Doc in 2004. While the show was in production, the Cyrus family lived in Toronto.

“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!'” the 56-year-old recalled. “And I said, ‘Oh, maybe you can.'”

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Tish continued, “He had done another show in Toronto and so we all had to go back and forth and it was really hard on the kids. Miley had already gotten Hannah and I was already stressed about like, what are we going to do? Like I couldn’t, as a mom, have half my kids in Tennessee and be out here with Miley, like I just could not do that. And so I was like, ‘I have to bring all the kids.'”

As Tish explained to host Alex Cooper, she encouraged Billy Ray, 62, to audition for the role. “They love you and they’re really interested,” she remembered telling her former partner. “Yes, it would be a pay cut but our family could be together.”

E! News has reached out to Billy Ray’s rep for comment on Tish’s remarks and has not heard back.

Looking back, Tish cannot believe how she managed to juggle raising the kids and managing Miley’s entertainment career. Ultimately, it was her current husband Dominic Purcell, who she married in 2023, who helped her put everything in perspective. “He made me realize,” she said, “what I did is bada–.”

“It was not easy, having kids that small out,” she continued. “But I just made it work and I took the kids. But it was a sacrifice for everyone.”

Check out a guide to Miley Cyrus’ family below:

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How the Cyrus Family Started

Billy Ray Cyrus married Tish Cyrus (née Leticia Finley) on Dec. 28, 2003.

At the time they already shared 12-month-old daughter Destiny Hope Cyrus—you may know her as Miley Cyrus now—and Tish was pregnant with their son Braison Cyrus, who was born May 9, 1994.

Seven months before Miley was born on Nov. 23, 1992, Billy Ray’s ex-girlfriend Kristin Luckey gave birth to their son Christopher Cody Cyrus on April 8.

Barry King/FilmMagic

When the “Achy Breaky Heart” singer married Tish, he adopted her daughter Brandi Cyrus (born May 26, 1987) and son Trace Cyrus (Feb. 24, 1989), whose biological father is their mom’s ex-husband Baxter Helson.

Chris Polk/FilmMagic

Trish and Billy Ray’s youngest, daughter Noah Cyrus, was born Jan. 8, 2000.

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Father-Daughter Stardom

From 2006 to 2010, Billy Ray played the father of Miley’s normal-kid-who-moonlights-as-a-pop-star character in the Disney Channel sitcom Hannah Montana and a 2009 film adaptation.

While the Cyrus family was still based in Nashville, Billy Ray and Miley made the move to L.A. to jumpstart her own entertainment career.

Steve Granitz/WireImage

Where There’s Smoke…

Billy Ray and Tish announced in October 2010 that they were getting divorced, but by the following year were back together.

They filed for divorce again in June 2013 but reconsidered barely a month later, telling E! News at the time that they’d been to couple’s counseling and it had done wonders for them.

But before they reconciled, when the news broke that her dad had made the first move in a Nashville court to end his marriage after 19 years, Miley tweeted, “@billyraycyrus since your text and email obviously aren’t working would you like to talk like this?”

Rich Polk/Getty Images for Disney

Miley Starts Over

After a decade of being together off and on, and in the wake of losing their Malibu home in a fire, Miley and her The Last Song co-star Liam Hemsworth married in December 2018.

The decision came “from a place of trauma and just trying to rebuild as quickly as we could,” Miley recalled on her “Used to Be Young” TikTok series.

But Liam filed for divorce in August 2019 and they finalized the paperwork in January 2020.

“It’s honestly very simple,” a source told E! at the time. “They fell in love when they were young and they are just different people now.”

Instagram/Trace Cyrus

The Family Tree Keeps Growing

Tish and Billy Ray became grandparents in 2021 when their son Braison and his wife Stella welcomed son Bear Chance Cyrus on June 8. 

Amy Sussman/FilmMagic

Billy Ray and Tish Split Up for Good

Tish filed for divorce fo a third time in April 2022, and this time it stuck.

Moreover, her petition citing “irreconcilable differences” noted that she and her husband of almost 30 years hadn’t lived together since February 2020. 

Larry Busacca/Getty Images

“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.”

The exes noted that they hadn’t come to the decision to split up for good “lightly or quickly,” adding, “We will always be family and look forward to a continued and loving shared experience as friends and parents.”


Billy Ray Cyrus Moves on With Firerose

Billy Ray quietly got engaged to Australian singer Firerose, who’s 27 years his junior, in August 2022 but waited to confirm the news until that November.

“Growing up in Australia, my love of music was predominant over everything,” Firerose told People. “I’ve known his music since forever.”

What started as a friendship turned into more during the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“All of the sudden, the life that I’ve always known as a touring artist didn’t exist anymore,” Billy Ray said. “A moment of so much change. And at the same time, Firerose, who had been such a light of positivity, such a best friend. And then when we began sharing the music, it just evolved more into, as musical soulmates, to soulmates, happy, pure love that to me, I didn’t know could exist.”


Tish Cyrus Finds Love With Dominic Purcell

Around the time her ex-husband confirmed his engagment in November 2022, Tish went Instagram-official with Prison Break actor Dominic Purcell.

They got engaged in April 2023 and tied the knot that August in Malibu at sunset with Miley, Trace and Brandi all standing by their mom’s side.

“Life is unpredictable & always full of changes,” Trace captioned a photo of himself and two of his sibling with the bride. “I think the most important thing to do is cherish the past, look forward to the future, & always be happy in the present moment because that’s really all we have.”


“To see my mom this happy and in love is very emotional for me,” Miley told Vogue last summer ahead of her mom’s wedding. “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.”

Instagram/Billy Ray Cyrus

As for her dad’s next chapter, however, a source close to Miley told E! News in October 2022 that she wasn’t in love with it and didn’t have a relationship with her future stepmom.

“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,” the source said. “She hopes they can eventually work on their relationship.”

Billy Ray told People that November, however, that his family had “no hard feelings” about his engagement.

“Everybody’s turning the page,” he said. “It’s been a lot, but everyone knew that it was time for a change.”

He and Firerose got married on Oct. 10, 2023, calling it the “beautiful, joyous day that our two souls united as one in holy matrimony.”

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Where the Family Stands Now

Whatever rift opened up between Miley and her dad apparently hadn’t been repaired by the night of the 2024 Grammys on Feb. 4.

Tish and Brandi were there, as was Miley’s boyfriend Maxx Morando, and they all got shout-outs when the “Flowers” singer won Record of the Year.

As Miley concluded her speech, “I don’t think I forgot anyone.”

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