Tish Cyrus Urged Billy Ray Cyrus to Play Miley's Dad on Hannah Montana So Their 'Family Could Be Together'

Tish denied Billy Ray's claim the show 'destroyed' the Cyrus family and revealed she wanted her ex to audition because 'nothing else was working' after the juggernaut success of 'Achy Breaky Heart'

<p> Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic</p>

Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

Tish Cyrus has no regrets when she looks back on the days leading up to the launch of Disney Channel's Hannah Montana, which launched her daughter’s career while simultaneously skyrocketing her then-husband’s, too.

Tish appeared on Call Her Daddy alongside her oldest daughter, Brandi Cyrus, and the pair opened up about the early days of Miley Cyrus’ fame — and how it affected their family.

The Disney Channel show “became its own phenomenon,” Tish, 56, told host Alex Cooper, while Brandi, 36, said, “Hannah Montana was just different. And I don’t think anyone could’ve ever anticipated it or thought how big it would be.”

Miley, 31, starred as the titular pop star who doubled as normal California teenager Miley Stewart, while her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, 62, played her father on the screen, Robby Ray Stewart.

The decision to have the country singer, who had shot to fame for his 1992 hit “Achy Breaky Heart,” join his daughter onscreen was Tish’s.

<p>Kevin Mazur/Getty</p> Billy Ray, Miley and Tish Cyrus in 2019

Kevin Mazur/Getty

Billy Ray, Miley and Tish Cyrus in 2019

Related: Inside Tish Cyrus and Dominic Purcell’s 'Magical' Malibu Wedding

“He had done ‘Achy Breaky [Heart]’ and nothing else was working,” the mother-of-five told Cooper on Wednesday’s podcast episode. “And then I brought Miley out to audition for Hannah and she had gotten it. And then one of the casting directors said a joke, like, ‘Ugh, too bad we can’t afford her real dad.’ And I said, ‘Oh, maybe you can.’

"The family had been living in Toronto prior to Miley booking the Disney Channel series," Tish said, and moving the kids — Brandi, Trace, now 34, Miley, Braison, now 29, and Noah, now 24 — back-and-forth was “really hard.”

“Miley had already gotten Hannah, and I was already stressed about, ‘What are we gonna do?’ I couldn’t, as a mom, have half my kids in Tennessee and be out [in L.A.] with Miley, like I just could not do that. And so I was like, ‘I have to bring all the kids.’ And so that’s when I said to Billy Ray, ‘You should come audition for the dad. Because they love you and they’re really interested. Yes, it would be a pay cut but our family could be together.’ ”

<p>Everett</p> Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus on 'Hannah Montana' in 2006


Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus on 'Hannah Montana' in 2006

Related: Miley Cyrus Celebrates the 16th Anniversary of 'Hannah Montana' Premiere: 'My Life Changed Forever'

The Call Her Daddy host also brought up Billy Ray’s 2011 comments that the Disney show, which ran from 2006 to 2011, “destroyed” the Cyrus family. He told GQ at the time: “It destroyed my family. I'll tell you right now — the damn show destroyed my family.”

Both Tish and Brandi immediately disagreed. “Absolutely not,” Tish, who divorced Billy Ray in 2022, said.

Brandi added, “Not at all… I mean the family’s not destroyed, first of all. We’re doing great.”

“I just think he was having a moment,” Tish said of the comment from more than a decade ago.

Related: Miley Cyrus Channels Tina Turner and Calls Out Crowd During 'Flowers' Performance at 2024 Grammys

<p>VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images</p> Miley Cyrus accepts record of the year at the 2024 Grammys

VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

Miley Cyrus accepts record of the year at the 2024 Grammys

Tish and Brandi’s appearance on Call Her Daddy comes just days after Miley won her first two Grammys at Sunday’s ceremony. She collected awards for best pop solo performance and record of the year for “Flowers.” In her acceptance speech for the latter, she pointedly omitted her father.

The singer thanked  "everyone that's standing on this stage right now: Tom, Tyler, Michael and Greg. Our teams, my team, Crush, Columbia, my mommy, my sister, my love, my main gays because look how good I look."

<p>Neilson Barnard/Getty</p> Tish, Miley and Brandi Cyrus at the 2024 Grammys

Neilson Barnard/Getty

Tish, Miley and Brandi Cyrus at the 2024 Grammys

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She then asked the team behind her, "Anyone else? Your wife, your fiancée, all the people that we love. Thank you all so much."

As she concluded her speech, she quipped, "I don't think I forgot anyone. But I might have forgotten underwear. Bye!"

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