Billy Ray Cyrus has rushed to the defense of his pop star daughter Miley insisting that she has ''risen to a whole new level'' since her controversial performance at the MTV Video Music Awards last month.
The 52-year-old actor and country singer said he is proud of his 20-year-old daughter and understands that she wants to leave her Disney image behind.
Speaking on Piers Morgan Tonight on US TV's CNN yesterday (19.09.13), Billy said: ''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 has risen to a whole new level. I thought I had seen it all - until these last couple of weeks."
He added: ''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. I think that all of what everyone is calling controversy now, that's still my Miley.''