Billy Ray Cyrus Shares Cryptic Message Amid Family Rift With Tish and Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus' dad Billy Ray Cyrus shared a mysterious message about love after the singer excluded him from her 2024 Grammys acceptance speech, choosing to only thank her mom Tish Cyrus.

By Gabrielle Chung Feb 10, 2024 12:42 AMTags
Watch: Tish Cyrus Reacts to Billy Ray Cyrus' Claim About 'Hannah Montana'

Billy Ray Cyrus is being gentle with his achy breaky heart.

The country music star shared a cryptic message amid his family rift with daughter Miley Cyrus and ex-wife Tish Cyrus, who he divorced in 2022 after nearly 30 years of marriage.

Alongside a photo of himself and his wife of four months Firerose cozying up in a field together, Billy Ray wrote on Instagram Feb. 6, "Love is the answer."

The post came just two days after Miley, 31, failed to acknowledge Billy Ray, 62, while accepting the Best Pop Solo Performance and Record of the Year awards at the 2024 Grammys. Instead, the "Flowers" artist opted to give shoutouts to her mom Tish, sister Brandi Cyrus and boyfriend Maxx Morando, who were in the audience.

"Thank you all so much," she said, before jokingly noting, "I don't think I forgot anyone, but I might've forgotten underwear. Bye!"

Miley doubled down in her post-Grammys Instagram message on Feb. 5, when she again didn't mention Billy Ray by name. "To my mommy @tishcyruspurcell I love you more than anything in the entire universe," the Disney Channel alum wrote, "my family, @brandicyrus thank you for being there like always, my godmother @dollyparton - I felt your fairy dust everywhere."

Billy Ray Cyrus and Firerose: Romance Rewind

E! News has reached out to Billy Ray's rep for comment but hasn't heard back.

Though Miley and her dad were once inseparable as costars on Hannah Montana, they've drifted apart in recent years, according to a source close to the "Wrecking Ball" singer.

"The divorce between her parents have put a strain on her relationship with her dad and it's been hard to connect with him in the last year," an insider told E! News in 2022, adding that Miley "has been closer to her mom Tish" and "doesn't have a relationship" with Firerose.

Recently, Tish reflected on her divorce from Billy Ray during an appearance on Call Her Daddy, sharing that she had a "complete psychological breakdown" amid the split.

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

"It was the worst thing, it was not good," the music manager—who is also mom to kids Trace Cyrus, 34, Braison Cyrus, 29, and Noah Cyrus, 23—recalled on the Feb. 6 episode. "I could not eat, I could not sleep, I could not stop crying."

Tish said the separation, which she described as a "hugely transformative" journey, made her realize that she stayed in the marriage "out of fear of being alone."

"I really didn't want Noah to still be young," explained the 56-year-old, who married Dominic Purcell last year, "but looking back on it, it would have been much better for her had I left."

For a deep dive into the Cyrus family drama, keep reading.


How the Cyrus Family Started

Billy Ray Cyrus married Tish Cyrus (née Leticia Finley) on Dec. 28, 2003.

At the time they already shared 12-month-old daughter Destiny Hope Cyrus—you may know her as Miley Cyrus now—and Tish was pregnant with their son Braison Cyrus, who was born May 9, 1994.

Seven months before Miley was born on Nov. 23, 1992, Billy Ray's ex-girlfriend Kristin Luckey gave birth to their son Christopher Cody Cyrus on April 8.

When the "Achy Breaky Heart" singer married Tish, he adopted her daughter Brandi Cyrus (born May 26, 1987) and son Trace Cyrus (Feb. 24, 1989), whose biological father is their mom's ex-husband Baxter Helson.

Trish and Billy Ray's youngest, daughter Noah Cyrus, was born Jan. 8, 2000.

Father-Daughter Stardom

From 2006 to 2010, Billy Ray played the father of Miley's normal-kid-who-moonlights-as-a-pop-star character in the Disney Channel sitcom Hannah Montana and a 2009 film adaptation.

While the Cyrus family was still based in Nashville, Billy Ray and Miley made the move to L.A. to jumpstart her own entertainment career.

Where There's Smoke...

Billy Ray and Tish announced in October 2010 that they were getting divorced, but by the following year were back together.

They filed for divorce again in June 2013 but reconsidered barely a month later, telling E! News at the time that they'd been to couple's counseling and it had done wonders for them.

But before they reconciled, when the news broke that her dad had made the first move in a Nashville court to end his marriage after 19 years, Miley tweeted, "@billyraycyrus since your text and email obviously aren't working would you like to talk like this?"

Miley Starts Over

After a decade of being together off and on, and in the wake of losing their Malibu home in a fire, Miley and her The Last Song co-star Liam Hemsworth married in December 2018.

The decision came "from a place of trauma and just trying to rebuild as quickly as we could," Miley recalled on her "Used to Be Young" TikTok series.

But Liam filed for divorce in August 2019 and they finalized the paperwork in January 2020.

"It's honestly very simple," a source told E! at the time. "They fell in love when they were young and they are just different people now."

The Family Tree Keeps Growing

Tish and Billy Ray became grandparents in 2021 when their son Braison and his wife Stella welcomed son Bear Chance Cyrus on June 8. 

Billy Ray and Tish Split Up for Good

Tish filed for divorce fo a third time in April 2022, and this time it stuck.

Moreover, her petition citing "irreconcilable differences" noted that she and her husband of almost 30 years hadn't lived together since February 2020. 

"It is after 30 years, five amazing children and a lifetime of memories, we have decided to go our separate ways—not with sadness, but with love in our hearts," Tish and Billy Ray told People in a statement. "We have grown up together, raised a family we can be so proud of, and it is now time to create our own paths."

The exes noted that they hadn't come to the decision to split up for good "lightly or quickly," adding, "We will always be family and look forward to a continued and loving shared experience as friends and parents."

Billy Ray Cyrus Moves on With Firerose

Billy Ray quietly got engaged to Australian singer Firerose, who's 27 years his junior, in August 2022 but waited to confirm the news until that November.

"Growing up in Australia, my love of music was predominant over everything," Firerose told People. "I've known his music since forever."

What started as a friendship turned into more during the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"All of the sudden, the life that I've always known as a touring artist didn't exist anymore," Billy Ray said. "A moment of so much change. And at the same time, Firerose, who had been such a light of positivity, such a best friend. And then when we began sharing the music, it just evolved more into, as musical soulmates, to soulmates, happy, pure love that to me, I didn't know could exist."

Tish Cyrus Finds Love With Dominic Purcell

Around the time her ex-husband confirmed his engagment in November 2022, Tish went Instagram-official with Prison Break actor Dominic Purcell.

They got engaged in April 2023 and tied the knot that August in Malibu at sunset with Miley, Trace and Brandi all standing by their mom's side.

"Life is unpredictable & always full of changes," Trace captioned a photo of himself and two of his sibling with the bride. "I think the most important thing to do is cherish the past, look forward to the future, & always be happy in the present moment because that’s really all we have."

"To see my mom this happy and in love is very emotional for me," Miley told Vogue last summer ahead of her mom's wedding. "Dom and my mom share the sweetest, most genuine love. It's almost like it's for the first time, which is so fitting for my mom who is such a young soul."

As for her dad's next chapter, however, a source close to Miley told E! News in October 2022 that she wasn't in love with it and didn't have a relationship with her future stepmom.

"The divorce between her parents put a strain on her relationship with her dad and it's been hard to connect with him in the last year," the source said. "She hopes they can eventually work on their relationship."

Billy Ray told People that November, however, that his family had "no hard feelings" about his engagement.

"Everybody's turning the page," he said. "It's been a lot, but everyone knew that it was time for a change."

He and Firerose got married on Oct. 10, 2023, calling it the "beautiful, joyous day that our two souls united as one in holy matrimony."

Where the Family Stands Now

Whatever rift opened up between Miley and her dad apparently hadn't been repaired by the night of the 2024 Grammys on Feb. 4.

Tish and Brandi were there, as was Miley's boyfriend Maxx Morando, and they all got shout-outs when the "Flowers" singer won Record of the Year.

As Miley concluded her speech, "I don’t think I forgot anyone."

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