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Miley Cyrus’ parents: What she’s said about her mom Tish and dad Billy Ray

Cyrus has opened up about her relationship with both her parents, and her "complex family," over the years.
/ Source: TODAY

When Miley Cyrus took home her first Grammy for best pop solo performance on Feb. 4 (the first of two Grammys she would win that night), she thanked several people in her acceptance speech, including her mom, Tish Cyrus-Purcell, her sister and her "love," Maxx Morando.

However, there was one person noticeably missing from the list: her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus.

Many fans interpreted Cyrus’ omission of her dad as a deliberate snub — especially considering that the “Flowers” singer also failed to mention her dad in a follow-up Instagram post thanking her loved ones the day after the Grammys. 

Tish Cyrus, Miley Cyrus and Brandi Cyrus
Tish Cyrus-Purcell (left) and Miley Cyrus' sister, Brandi Cyrus (right) supported Miley Cyrus at the Grammys.Neilson Barnard / Getty Images

Following this, speculation began to build about a possible falling out between the “Used to Be Young” singer and her country singer dad. 

There have been some major changes for both of Cyrus’ parents in recent years. 

Tish Cyrus filed for divorce from Billy Ray Cyrus, her husband of nearly three decades, in April 2022, according to court documents obtained by NBC News at the time. The couple had moved toward divorce two other times in past years, but ended up reconciling. 

This time, however, their split was permanent, and they have both since remarried. Tish Cyrus, now known as Tish Cyrus-Purcell, tied the knot with Australian actor Dominic Purcell in August, with Miley Cyrus giving her mom away during the ceremony.

Billy Ray Cyrus tied the knot just a few months later, wedding Australian singer-songwriter Firerose in October 2023. 

Cyrus has not commented publicly on her parents’ divorce, or on where her relationship stands with her dad now. That said, she has opened up about her relationship with her parents in the past.

Here are some things the former “Hannah Montana” star has said about her mom and dad over the years.

Cyrus has said her dad was worried about her pursuing a show business career

Billy Ray Cyrus and daughter Miley Cyrus in 1994
Billy Ray Cyrus cradled Miley, then nearly 2, at an event in Memphis in 1994. Rick Diamond / Getty Images

Billy Ray Cyrus co-starred with his daughter on her breakout show, “Hannah Montana,” from 2006 to 2011. His 2006 song, “Stand,” also featured a collaboration with his daughter.

In the beginning, though, Miley Cyrus says her dad was nervous about her entering show business, and was reluctant to let her audition for “Hannah Montana” at age 11.

“I think he just didn’t want me to feel any kind of rejection,” Miley Cyrus told Rolling Stone in 2013. “He didn’t want me to be hurt by the industry.”

Cyrus says she and her dad have ‘wildly different’ relationships to fame

Billy Ray Cyrus and daughter Miley Cyrus in 2006
Billy Ray Cyrus and Miley Cyrus attended the premiere of "Over The Hedge" in Los Angeles in 2006.Steve Granitz / WireImage

In her recent Hulu special, "Endless Summer Vacation: Continued (Backyard Sessions)," Cyrus reflected on how she and her dad have handled the spotlight differently. 

“My dad grew up the opposite of me,” she said. “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 I think in my relationships also,” she continued. “And that’s something that my dad didn’t have. I’ve seen how that affects a lot of people that go from having nothing to everything. It’s a really dangerous place. So I think that’s where me and my dad’s relationship to fame and success is wildly different.”

She also opened up about what she sees as deeper dynamics at play.

“Him feeling loved by a big audience impacted him emotionally more than it ever could me,” she said of her dad. “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,” she added, while tearing up. “So I think that’s the difference.”

Cyrus says her mom has always rooted for her ‘behind the scenes’

Miley Ray Cyrus and mother Leticia "Tish" Cyrus
Miley Cyrus and her mom shared a sweet red carpet moment at the 2008 Academy Awards in Hollywood.Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Cyrus has opened up about her close relationship with her mom over the years. Cyrus-Purcell has been her daughter’s manager since the beginning of her career, and the “Flowers” singer has described how her mom protected her and negotiated fair deals for her in her Disney days.

“My mom started understanding how many people take advantage of a child, so she hired smart people to protect me in that way,” Cyrus told Elle in 2016. “I’m happy that when I was younger, people protected me and put me in a position where I can now control my music.”

In an interview with Vogue last year about Cyrus-Purcell’s wedding, the pop star praised her mother’s constant support — and said she was excited to return the favor and be there for her mom.

“My whole life my mom has been behind the scenes,” Cyrus 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.”

There have been ups and downs in the way Cyrus talks about her dad publicly

Cyrus has poked gentle fun at her dad in past interviews.

She teased him over his lack of technological savvy in a 2021 interview with British Vogue, when she was asked the question, “What advice would you give yourself 10 years from now?”

“To stay updated, to keep educating myself, to never stop learning, to continue evolving and be conscious of the evolution happening around me, too,” she answered. “So keeping up with the next generation, looking at what they’re doing and what they’re interested in. 

“We’re still honoring everything that’s been, but what happens if you don’t do that? You turn into Billy Ray Cyrus, who doesn’t have WiFi,” she said.

In 2020, she also joked about her dad’s reluctance to use the new iPhone she gave him. 

“My dad got two Blackberries because he says it equals one iPhone,” said on her “Bright Minded” virtual talk show on Instagram. “That is not true — he’s still on the Blackberry!”

While Cyrus has engaged in some light-hearted teasing about her dad in interviews, one public message she sent to her father was a bit more cryptic.

In 2013, Cyrus appeared to confront her father on the platform then known as Twitter, now X, for not returning her texts or emails, though it's unclear whether her post was meant as a joke.

“@billyraycyrus since your text and email obviously aren’t working would you like to talk like this?” the singer wrote in a June 2013 post.

Cyrus has said she ‘inherited’ some of her mom’s ‘abandonment feelings’ 

Cyrus has opened up about how reflecting on her mom and dad’s family histories helped her understand her own emotions.

“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,” she told Variety in 2020. 

“My dad’s parents divorced when he was three, so my dad raised himself,” she continued. “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. I think therapy is great.”

Cyrus called her mother’s 2023 wedding ‘special and magical’

Cyrus gushed about the joyful experience of attending her mother’s wedding last year. 

“To see my mom this happy and in love is very emotional for me,” she told Vogue in August 2023. “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,” she continued. “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.”

Cyrus has said her family is ‘complex’

While not mentioning any family member in particular, Cyrus called her family “complex” in a 2021 interview with British Vogue.

Cyrus has multiple siblings. She is the oldes child of three that Billy Ray Cyrus and Tish Purcell-Cyrus share. Tish Cyrus has two children from a prior marriage and Billy Ray Cyrus has one child from a previous relationship

“I have a very intimate and close relationship with my family. But like all families, we’re also complex, but we embrace the fact that each of us are so different from one another,” she said. “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.”