Billy Ray Cyrus didn’t come from a famous family, but his daughter Miley sure did. In his new book, “Hillbilly Heart,” the singer details his rise to fame and his new role as a parent to a superstar. The 51-year-old crooner dished to FOX411 about his personal success and his famous daughter.
FOX 411: Do you think you put mullets on the map?
Cyrus: Depends if you’ve heard of David Bowie or not. Ever see Def Leppard?
FOX 411: So is Miley going to marry Liam?
Cyrus: Um (pause) I’ll be honest with you, her and Liam are great friends, that’s their business and that’s their world. I’m not in charge of any weddings. If that ends up coming to pass and they have a wedding I’m sure I’ll be there. Honestly that’s not my business, that’s two young people that are really good friends.
FOX 411: You write that Miley was a born entertainer.
Cyrus: She always had a gift and a presence to entertain people from the first time she ever stepped on stage, it was obvious. She loved to sing. We went to see “Mamma Mia” and she said, “This is what I want to do.”
FOX 411: I love your heart tattoo story in the midst of “Hannah Montana” mania.
Cyrus: We were sitting in church and she drew a heart on my hand and suggested that after church we go to a tattoo parlor and get it tattooed on. I’d already proclaimed that day was her day to do whatever she wanted to do, so we did it.
FOX 411: I always felt sorry for Miley when she got bad press. She was just a teenager having fun with friends and photos were always posting online.
Cyrus: Thank goodness the Internet wasn’t around when I was a kid.
FOX 411: Because you’d be in jail?
Cyrus: Who knows where that would have led!
FOX 411: You have never had an easy time from the critics.
Cyrus: I don’t think about it that much to be honest. I enjoy doing what I do, and I do it because I love it. I make music for the passion of making music. Now that I’m an author I enjoy writing, to be able to take a look at this moment in my life, look back at where I’ve been and assess where I’m at and look towards the future. I’m in a good spot.
FOX 411: I love that your dad advised you to go into acting.
Cyrus: My dad was a great friend. He was a good guy to talk to for counsel and yes somewhat of a manager.
FOX 411: What did you want to be when you were a kid?
Cyrus: I thought I was going to be the catcher for the Cincinnati Reds. But I just felt inside I was supposed to buy a guitar and start a band. I think it was a moment of inspiration, if you will, that voice within.
FOX 411: Did you know immediately that ‘Achy Break Heart’ would be such a big hit?
Cyrus: I felt like there was something really special about it, that’s for sure. I knew when we played it there was an instant response in a very positive manner. It felt like a hit.
FOX 411: You spent a decade knocking on doors.
Cyrus: My life itself is a story of persistence, a will to never give up. Giving up was never an option to be honest. I’d always believed in the theory, burn all bridges except the one where you want to go.