Billy Ray Cyrus Prays His Children ‘Live With Purpose’
Billy Ray Cyrus has watched as his family’s name has been splashed all over the headlines in the last several months, from his daughter Miley Cyrus‘s globe-trotting antics to his 17-year marriage with his wife, Tish, heading straight to divorce court. But now, with his famous daughter staying out of the tabloids, and a happy reconciliation with his spouse, the ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ singer says he’s optimistic about the future.
“We’ve always had a slogan in our family: ‘If you ain’t happy, it ain’t working.’ You need to love what you’re doing,” he tells Parade magazine. “As long as [Miley's] happy and loving making music — and I know she loves acting — that’s all that matters. I pray the same for Miley as I pray for my other kids — that they live their life with purpose knowing that it’s about giving back and finding out what you can do in this world to hopefully make it a better place.”
The family has faced many battles in recent months, but Billy Ray maintains they are all doing well now, thanks in part to lessons he learned as a child. “Music can be a healer in itself. It has always been a great inspiration for me,” he notes. “My grandfather played bluegrass music and my earliest memories are Saturday nights sitting around singing bluegrass and Sunday morning we’d be at my other grandfather’s church singing southern gospel songs. Music always was an important cornerstone of my family and still is today.”
The singer-turned-actor has weathered many storms, both personally and professionally, since he first hit the airwaves. But he admits it was the advice of some of his musical heroes that encouraged him to continue to pursue his passion.
“I’ll lean back to a couple buddies of mine, one being Waylon Jennings, the other being Johnny Cash, the other being Carl Perkins, all three of those great men said the same thing to me: ‘Cyrus, keep it real. Be who you are and do what you do because you love it,” he reveals. “I’ve followed that example of keeping it real. Nothing else in this business is worth it. Don’t be chasing fads or trying to necessarily be the guy that’s trying to fit in with everybody else. Be who you are and be an original.”
The 49-year-old’s debut album, ‘Some Gave All,’ included the title track, which he wrote for a Vietman vet whom he met while performing at a club in Alabama 20 years ago. But his passion for supporting the military personnel stationed overseas didn’t end with that one song. His new album, ‘I’m American,’ due out next month, is dedicated to servicemen and women all over the world.
“I am so excited about getting back out on the road,” says the superstar. “We’re kicking off the tour here in a few weeks and we’ve got a brand new single shipping out to radio soon. It’s called ‘Runway Lights,’ and it’s the theme song for my new series I’m doing on TLC called ‘Homecoming.’ It’s about the troops. They sacrifice an awful lot for us and this show is all about giving back to them and reuniting families. It’s just a great way to support our troops.”
A sneak peek of ‘Homecoming will air on Memorial Day on TLC and the show will officially premiere on July 11. ‘I’m American’ hits shelves on June 28.