Miley Cyrus discusses her relationship with dad Billy Ray Cyrus: 'There is a map of what to do and what not to do'

“I’m grateful for, first, his genes — my dad has great hair, and I got that,” the "Flowers" singer jokes.

Miley Cyrus is reflecting on her relationship with her parents.

The “Flowers” singer discussed how her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, has influenced her with David Letterman on Netflix series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction,

“I’m grateful for, first, his genes — my dad has great hair, and I got that,” she joked. “But 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. I’m grateful for being able to watch him ahead of me. He’s almost, like, given me this map, and there is a map of what to do and what not to do, and he’s been — he’s guided me on both.”

<p>Chris Polk/BBMA2017/Getty</p> Miley Cyrus and Billy Ray Cyrus in 2017

Chris Polk/BBMA2017/Getty

Miley Cyrus and Billy Ray Cyrus in 2017

Cyrus also said that her dad, who costarred with her as her TV dad at the start of her career on Disney Channel series Hannah Montana, helped shape her as a musician.

“My dad as a creative and as an artist, in the way that his brain works, has always made me feel safer in my own mind because we’re very similar in some of our ideas,” she said. “So I think a lot of his perspective on reality and on life, I’ve inherited from him, more so than the way that I was raised, which, really, my mom raised me."

The singer hypothesized that her father’s underprivileged childhood had a substantial impact on him. She recounts that he grew up poor in a small town and his parents were divorced when he was quite young.

“My dad had a pretty rough childhood," she said. "And my childhood, really — I mean, we can go and talk about the hard times or the struggles, turning in my homework and learning my lines was tough — but I had food, I had love, I grew up in a beautiful big house, and my dad didn’t have that. And so I have a lot of empathy and compassion for his childhood, which obviously developed to create the man that he is now, that I have a lot of love for.”

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Cyrus thinks that her mother Tish, who was adopted, had a more stable upbringing within a "completely intact, beautiful family" that made her better equipped as a parent.

“My mom was chosen — her parents couldn’t have children — and so my mom came into this world being wanted and being loved and being given the most beautiful life," Cyrus said. "Like, my grandmother spoiled not only her, but me completely rotten. My dad didn’t have that.”

<p>Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic</p> Miley Cyrus at the 2024 Grammy Awards


Miley Cyrus at the 2024 Grammy Awards

Letterman clarified the status of Miley and Billy Ray Cyrus’ relationship: “There’s not estrangement here with your father, it’s just kinda the way things are played?” he asked.

“Yeah,” Cyrus responded. “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.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Cyrus casually said that she “inherited the narcissism from my father” and that “my mom is my hero.”

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<p>Katherine Bomboy/NBC via Getty</p> Billy Ray Cyrus

Katherine Bomboy/NBC via Getty

Billy Ray Cyrus

Billy Ray Cyrus first filed for divorce from Tish in 2010, then dropped the filing shortly thereafter. Tish then filed for divorce in 2013 before once again calling off the split. The couple officially called it quits with a third and final divorce filing in 2022. Billy Ray Cyrus then married Firerose, whom he’d met on the set of Hannah Montana, in 2023. They divorced eight months later. Meanwhile, Tish Cyrus married Prison Break star Dominic Purcell in 2023 with Miley as her maid of honor.

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