Billy Ray Cyrus Helps Daughter Miley Cope With 'The Pressures of the World'

On the Disney Channel's "Hannah Montana," the No. 1 cable show for teens, Miley Cyrus has the best of both worlds. Her character gets to be a regular student during the day and glamorous rocker Hannah Montana at night.

Deborah Roberts spent time with Miley and her dad, country music star Billy Ray Cyrus, who plays her father on the show, on the set of "Hannah Montana." Later, she met the whole family at its home outside Los Angeles.

Miley and Billy Ray sat down for their first in-depth interview since Miley's meteoric rise to fame. Her father, who shot to stardom the year Miley was born with his first single, the country dance sensation "Achy Breaky Heart," knows better than most the pitfalls of sudden fame.

He suffered a bitter backlash from critics, comics and country music fans who ridiculed the mullet-haired singer as a flash in the pan. Billy Ray stepped away from the business at the height of his fame to focus on family.

When Billy Ray began performing again, Miley wanted to come along.

"I don't ever remember a show ... from the time that she was able to walk that she didn't end up out on stage," Billy Ray remembers.

A decade later, it was a very tough call when his daughter wanted to move to Hollywood to pursue her show business dreams at such a young age, one he describes in his new song "Ready, Set, Don't Go."

"It's about that moment in every parent's life where you realize that your child has grown up, and you're at that crossroads where you gotta' let 'em go," he said.

Twelve-year-old Miley did go to Los Angeles, but her dad soon followed when producers noticed their chemistry and asked him to play Hannah Montana's dad. The show was an instant hit, and Miley an overnight star.

For Miley, it's been success on top of success. Her first two albums debuted at No. 1, knocking back new releases by established stars like Kelly Clarkson.

"Hannah Montana," along with a recent stint on "Dancing With the Stars," has breathed new life into Billy Ray's music career. In August, his latest album joined Miley's on Billboard's Top 20, the only father-daughter team to do that since Frank and Nancy Sinatra. Both Billy Ray and Miley begin concert tours this fall. "Hannah Montana" is breaking cable ratings records and a feature film is now in the works.

Billy Ray still worries about protecting Miley.

"Sometimes I feel sorry for her, 'cause I know that she's got the pressures of the world on her now. And it's like she's in every television set. If there's a TV somewhere, she's probably in it somewhere," he said.

Miley says she faces the same pressures and temptations as stars like Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan.

"People will say, 'Well, you're only 14. You're not getting the same pressures as them,'" she said. "It's like ... 'Yes, I am.' It's because, you know, this life that I lead is pretty crazy. It's just about, you know, having value and having pride in yourself."

Having a close family helps too. When she's not working, Miley spends most of her time with her dad and mom Tish and five brothers and sisters. To keep their little girl close, her parents built her a private section in their new home just outside L.A.

"It looks like I'll be staying here until I'm 20, but I'm fine, cause I've got like my own little, um, like little headquarters," Miley said.

And if things get too tough for Miley, her daddy has a motto: "If you ain't having fun, it ain't workin.'"

But for now, Billy Ray knows that his daughter is happy and living her dream.

"She's loving this. And I do believe she put in a lot of hard work and got really prepared for this moment. And this is her moment," he said.

For more information on Billy Ray and Miley's tours, please visit their respective Web sites at and

Visit City of Hope to find out more about the charity that will benefit from Miley's ticket sales.

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