USMagazine, Thursday, April 25, 2013, 12:40pm (PDT)
Daddy-daughter BFFs! Billy Ray Cyrus says he's supportive of his 20-year-old headline-making daughter, Miley Cyrus, no matter what. In a new interview with E! News, the 51-year-old country star shared that he's happy with their current relationship.
"I like right now just being her daddy and her friend. I like where our relationship is at right now," Billy Ray said. "I'm very proud of her." The "Achy Breaky Heart" singer was briefly estranged from Miley in 2011. "I'm scared for her," he told GQ magazine at the time. "She's got a lot of people around her that's putting her in a great deal of danger."
After the father and daughter costars wrapped up their run on the Disney series Hannah Montana in 2011, Miley drastically changed her image, typically oversharing via Twitter. Her new pixie haircut, ultra-revealing clothes and engagement to Liam Hemsworth has given her a constant place in the headlines. "There's two sides to the sword, and fame is a very dangerous thing," Billy Ray said. "So you handle it with respect and caution, step by step, day by day. Knowing that, for me, I had a friend to talk to—he was called my dad—and that's what I try to be for Miley."
While writing his new memoir, Hillbilly Heart, Billy Ray decided to leave his daughter's engagement with Hemsworth, 23, open-ended in case things didn't work out after the book was published. (The couple, who met on the set of The Last Song in 2009, became engaged in June 2012. They hit a rough patch in their relationship last month, and rumors have been circulating that their wedding is on hold.)
"I didn't know the answer," Billy Ray recently told ABC News of whether or not his daughter will make it down the aisle. "They're young. They're kids. The great news is, they're great friends. They're really, really good friends. If you end up getting married, that's your business too, you know?"