Billy Ray Cyrus: Miley Cyrus Is The Happiest She’s Ever Been

Despite the slew of controversies, headlines and dropping jaws, Billy Ray Cyrus says 20-year-old daughter Miley Cyrus is the happiest she’s ever been.

The singer/actor spoke with Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush about his superstar daughter on Thursday.

“She’s a very smart young lady. She wanted to shake things up a little bit and mission accomplished,” Billy said of his daughter’s now infamous MTV VMAs performance with Robin Thicke.

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The twerk-filled performance – and the over-the-top theatricality – was something Miley helped create and accomplish.

“She [did] a great deal of preparation and financial investment. All those bears and things she was going out of pocket for to make that stage great,” Billy Ray explained. “She said she wanted people to be talking.”

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Miley is far from being Billy Ray’s little girl these days, something the proud dad is still adjusting to.

“She wanted to go from a teenage superstar to a young lady, she’s got a lot to say musically,” he told Billy. “It’s hard for me at times, it’s still Miley. It’s still my little girl, it’s still my daughter.”

But does Miley still listen to her dad?

“I think so, yeah, every now and then,” the 52-year-old said. “I tell her up front, ‘Watch what I do and don’t do that,’ and she [says,] ‘Thank you very much,’” he explained.

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And despite Miley’s whirlwind schedule, the father-daughter duo still find some quality time for each other.

“Last night, Miley had just got in from New York and came to the house and she and I watched ‘American Horror Story,’” Billy Ray revealed. “It was so fun… we just sat and watched that show and it was very entertaining and it was great to see Miley being a kid there lying on the couch.”

Headlines and controversies aside, Billy Ray told Billy that Miley is feeling her best and that’s all he could ask for.

“She’s focused as I’ve ever seen her in her entire life… I heard my little girl say, ‘I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.’ That’s all I ever wanted to hear from her, from any of my kids,” he explained. “If they can all feel that ‘I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life,’ then you know what, they must be doing something right then. Because if you ain’t happy, it aint’ worth it.”

WATCH: Lance Bass On Miley Cyrus’ Wild Ways: ‘She’s Just Being Miley!’

When asked about some of Miley’s racier and suggestive lyrics, Billy Ray quoted a line from his Miley’s ‘We Can’t Stop.”

“I’ll use a Miley line to answer your question,” he told Billy when asked about lyrics that mention drug use. “It’s that line of, ‘It’s my mouth and I’ll say what I want to.’ It’s that freedom. To me, that’s one of the best lines she ever wrote. That’s what freedom is.”

-- Jesse Spero

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