Billy Ray Cyrus: 'Miley's a real artist now'

BILLY RAY CYRUS has jumped to the defense of his daughter Miley in his first proper TV sit down since her provocative performance at the MTV Video Music Awards last month (Aug13).

The Achy Breaky Heart singer pulled out of a planned interview with CNN newsman Piers Morgan in the days after Miley's racy routine in New York hit the headlines and became a major talking point.

The pop star stripped to her underwear onstage at the Barclays Center and performed Blurred Lines with Robin Thicke while making suggestive facial and hand gestures and grinding her performance partner's crotch.

Then, days later she debuted her video for new song Wrecking Ball, in which she rides a metal ball and chain while completely naked.

Miley's dad honored his commitment to appear on news show Piers Morgan Tonight on Thursday (19Sep13), and told the host he's proud of his daughter no matter how much she shocks.

He said, "She's just Miley. She's an artist, she's real. I think that what's happened over the years, Miley has been reinventing her sound, she's evolving as an artist herself... All of what everyone is calling controversy now, that's still my Miley."

And he urged viewers to step back and realize what the 20 year old has achieved since turning her back on her Disney character Hannah Montana.

He added, "What a risk, just the fact that she went and cut her hair off - that was huge. She could have stayed Hannah Montana forever and made a great living doing that, but she's more of an artist than that and she wanted to evolve and she had to take her time.

"She's very very smart and she's had all of this thought out in advance... Miley has been around a lot of the greats like Dolly who have (gone) through that continual process of reinvention. Miley's smart enough to know that to come out of the shadows of Hannah Montana, it really takes something extremely drastic, which, when you go to that level, it creates passion, and passion is either love or hate, but there's no middle of the road for passion.

"She knows the charts, she set a path, she knew what she wanted to do. In today's world, the shock factor is tremendously higher than it used to be."

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