Billy Ray Cyrus Hillbilly’s Heart excerpts via ONTD. On Miley and Nick Jonas: She and Nick Jonas connected instantly when the Jonas Brothers guest-starred on the show. I saw that chemistry happen right before my eyes. Again, it was art imitating life or life imitating art. Take your pick. But everyone saw they had a big crush on each other and that things just grew to where they were inseparable..
That night, Nick, Miley, and I sat by the fireplace and talked for a while. The Jonas Brothers weren’t really famous yet. They were just getting loaded up to take off. And so again, I knew this might be as close to a normal boyfriend relationship Miley would ever know.
On the Vanity Fair Shoot Tish and Miley’s grandma Loretta and Miley’s publicist were at the shoot. At Annie’s request, I swung by to pose with Miley. I was on my way to play for the troops in Washington State, so I didn’t have a lot of time. I took a few pictures, hung out, and then caught my plane. After the shoot, a picture was released on the Internet.
Suddenly, the world asked, ‘How could she? Where were her parents?’ As I said, I was gone. From what I understand, the shot was the last setup of the day. Looking back, would I have stopped it if I’d been there? Honestly, I don’t know. I’d a have to have been there. But who knows, Annie might have wrapped my fat ass in a sheet.
On Miley’s Birth
I was scheduled to take a break in the middle of December so I could be with Tish when she was due to give birth to our child.. But as soon as my plane touched down in Nashville, on November 23, I received a fax from Jack McFadden. It said, “Baby girl Cyrus born.” Shocked, I called Tish and instead got a hold of her mother, who told me that while I was in the air Tish’s doctor had decided to induce her. He’d feared some complications and, to be completely forthcoming, there were some. But the net result was that Tish and I had a baby girl……Tish was weak and our baby was in an incubator on 100 percent oxygen, but I’ll tell you, both of them were beautiful, and their spirits were strong, and after about eight days, both of them were able to go home with me to the log cabin, where we celebrated Thanksgiving.
On Miley Auditioning for Hannah
“Tish, Miley is Hannah Montana,” I said. “She’s reading for the wrong part.” “I don’t think Miley’s got the experience to carry it,” Tish said. “And Disney feels the same way.” “Hell, man, have they heard her sing?” I asked. “No, she hasn’t sung for them,” Tish said. “Oh my God. We have got to get her on tape,” I said. “Just let them hear her sing.” A song called “Goin’ to the Beach This Weekend” had been floating around as a demo, and Tish and I took Miley to a studio and put her on the track. We sent it to Disney, and their reaction was exactly as I expected. Holy crap! Let’s get her back out here.
On the Divorce
I met up with Tish and Miley in Detroit that I realized the ground was still littered with land mines, the emotional kind. I arrived there on my tour bus. …..as best as I can remember, I got there, took a look around, and realized everything I had ever thought about my marriage and what was going on in our lives— just the whole thing— was no longer the reality. Long before Tish and I met, I had vowed that my own kids, if I had any, would never see me argue the way my mom and dad did when I was little. I didn’t want to deal with that scenario, but I knew that’s where we were headed. There was too much bullshit in the air. I tried to ignore the lies and the façade that had been woven around me because the truth just hurt too damn much..
Then the most astonishing thing happened. Both Miley and Braison came to me, separately I should say, and said, “Dad, we know what’s going on. We know you’ve tried everything except one thing. Now you’ve got to do it.” I could tell they came to me out of pure love, not anger or a wish to hurt their mom. They were trying to figure out answers, too. This time, though, I came up with an answer that gave me the strength my kids must have had when they approached me. It was what my dad had told me back when he and my mom were getting a divorce. Life ain’t fair. It was my darkest hour. I felt sick 24/7. I didn’t eat. The painkillers couldn’t ease the pain, and the sleeping pills couldn’t put me to sleep. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I stalked the woods, built fires, and stared into space, thinking about what I could have done differently as a parent and a husband.
On the Bong Incident
Miley proclaimed her innocence. She said she had been smoking salvia, a legal herb in California. Publicly and privately, it upset everyone involved, from Miley to us, her parents. The folks at Disney were incensed. We had to do something. But I felt helpless. I chose to step out front, and go on offense. I took to Twitter, my first mistake. “Sorry, guys. I had no idea,” I tweeted. “Just saw this stuff for the first time myself. I’m so sad.” Then, just because I wanted to get my side out, I added, “There is much beyond my control right now.” I felt bad for Miley, but I felt even worse for all those kids who looked up to her and loved her so much. I knew their hearts were broken, as was mine. Everyone got hurt. Once again, it was a bloodbath of emotion.
On Miley and Liam’s Engagement
Miley burst through the kitchen door, her legs and arms and hair flying in every direction just like it did when she was a little kid. “Daddy!” she screamed. “Dad!” A moment later, she wrapped her arms around me and stuck her finger in front of my face. I was staring at a diamond ring— a pretty sizable chunk of diamond, too. “I’m engaged!” she said. “Liam asked me to get married.” Liam followed her into the room, and Tish was not far behind. All of us hugged and smiled. I was even happier because they had recently come down from Miley’s house in the hills and moved into our old house, which Tish and I had recently vacated for a smaller, cozier place around the corner that had previously belonged to Miley.
Although we weren’t sure when young Mr. Hemsworth was going to pop the question, Tish and I both knew it was on the horizon. He had come to us and said, “I’m getting ready to ask Miley to marry me. What do you think?” At nineteen, Miley was young. But she had an old soul. She’d seen a lot and grown up fast. And she sure did seem happy around Liam. I’d had a good feeling about Liam from the first time I laid eyes on him— and that was before Miley saw him on the set of The Last Song. Tish was working with a casting company to find the male lead for the movie, and they were down to three or four contenders when I looked through a stack of pictures and pulled out Liam’s photo. “I could see that guy being her boyfriend,” I said. Tish looked up at me. “Wow, me too,” she said. “But he’s not one of the finalists, and I don’t want to cause a stir with these people.” “Hey, you’re a producer on this movie, right?” I said. “If you feel like that, voice your opinion.”
Read more at ONTD: