BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 11: Tish Cyrus, Actor/Singers Miley Cyrus and Billy Ray Cyrus arrive at the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 11, 2009 in Beverly Hills, California.
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Why Tish Cyrus Urged Billy Ray Cyrus to Play Miley's Dad on 'Hannah Montana'

Tish Cyrus wanted "Hannah Montana" to be a family affair.

On the Feb. 7 episode of Alex Cooper's "Call Her Daddy" podcast, Tish Cyrus explained why she encouraged her ex-husband Billy Ray Cyrus to co-star on the show that launched their daughter Miley's career, "Hannah Montana."

"He had done 'Achy Breaky [Heart]' and nothing else was working," Tish told Cooper. "And then I brought Miley out to audition for 'Hannah' and she had gotten it. And then one of the casting directors said a joke, like, 'Ugh, too bad we can't afford her real dad.' And I said, 'Oh, maybe you can.'

If Billy Ray played Miley's on-screen dad, it'd help solve some logistical issues for the family, which hailed from Toronto at the time.

"Miley had already gotten 'Hannah,' and I was already stressed about, 'What are we gonna do?' I couldn't, as a mom, have half my kids in Tennessee and be out [in L.A.] with Miley, like I just could not do that," Tish added. "And so I was like, 'I have to bring all the kids.' And so that's when I said to Billy Ray, 'You should come audition for the dad. Because they love you and they're really interested. Yes, it would be a pay cut but our family could be together.' "

Billy Ray landed the "Hannah Montana" role for the series' entire 2006- 2011 run.

Tish appeared on "Call Me Daddy" alongside her oldest daughter, Brandi. Billy Ray and Tish share five kids: Brandi, Trace, Miley, Braison and Noah. Tish and Billy Ray ended their 30-year marriage in April of 2022. Both got married to a new partner in 2023.

As for Miley, she's fresh off winning the first two Grammy awards of her career. She took home Record of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance, both for her global hit "Flowers."

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