Nepo Baby of the Week: Miley Cyrus Addresses Her Family Drama

The Daily Beast/Retuers
The Daily Beast/Retuers

When Miley Cyrus signed on to appear in David Letterman’s Netflix series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, she had to know the show would eventually touch on the reported rifts that have emerged within the Cyrus family. And while her appearance covered way more than just that, the pop legend did sound off on her parents, who she said “can’t be weighed on the same scale” when it comes to which of them might have impacted her life more.

The family first ruptured two years ago when Miley’s parents—her mother Tish Cyrus and her country star father Billy Ray Cyrus—separated. Things only got messier from there, and last year at the 2023 Grammy Awards, fans noticed that Miley did not thank her father in her acceptance speech. When asked by Letterman to confirm there’s no estrangement between her and her father, however, Miley offered a breezy, diplomatic answer.

“Yeah,” the singer said in this week’s My Next Guest…, “I think what is so beautiful is that my parents, they served their children, and I know this. My parents served us and sacrificed so much for us. Anything we dreamed of, they made possible.”

At the same time, when Letterman asked Cyrus if she’d call her father her hero, she bestowed that honor on her mother instead.

“I mean, honestly, my mom is my hero,” she said. “And my father, I’m grateful for—first, his genes. My dad has great hair, and I got that. But he also, he has a relationship and a foot on the ground to the real and to nature, and he always did, even when he was super famous.”

Looking back, Cyrus continued, “I’m grateful for being able to watch him ahead of me. He’s almost given me this map. And there’s a map of what to do and what not to do, and he’s guided me on both.”

While none of Cyrus’s responses about her father would presumably leave him with an achy, breaky heart, she seems to praise him more for the traits she’s inherited than anything else—for his creativity and the way his “brain works,” and for making her feel safer in her own mind “because we’re very similar in some of our ideas.” She also remembered him holding her up in stadiums like a young Simba. Meanwhile, she credits Tish with raising her.

“She’s just honest and she doesn't know how to be any other way but herself. My mom is just the warmest, most charismatic, bubbly, honest person, and I do think I inherited that from her.”

Later on, Cyrus joked about a less favorable trait that she apparently got from Billy Ray. “I inherited the narcissism from my father,” she said, “in that I don’t know anything about my siblings except for the part that I was doing.” (That was the only mention her siblings received.)

Cyrus also outlined the very different upbringings her parents received. While Billy Ray, whose parents divorced when he was young, “grew up very poor in a very small town” and “had a pretty rough childhood,” Tish “was raised by a completely intact, beautiful family” that chose to adopt her and “spoiled not only her but me completely rotten,” Cyrus said. “My dad didn’t have that.”

That recognition also seems to color Cyrus’ understanding of her father. “I have a lot of empathy and compassion for his childhood,” she said, “which obviously developed to create the man he is now that I have a lot of love for.”

In the world of musical dynasties, a little discord is nothing new. Still, Miley at least seems invested in keeping things positive and finding a way through this with both of her parental relationships intact. Someone give her some flowers.

Check out our past Nepo Babies of the Week.

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