OFFSTAGE: Billy Ray Cyrus’ Regrets Over Fame, Hannah Montana

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

Consider it a public service that I sat down and read this entire 5,000-word GQ magazine story about Billy Ray Cyrus so you wouldn’t have to. I will summarize it for you in just six words: Billy Ray Cyrus is seriously bummed. The story starts with Cyrus and the interviewer having a cup of tea in the Tennessee mansion where Cyrus now lives all alone. Sad start, and then it gets even more so. He reminisces about his kitchen table: “My kids learned to color on this table. There’s been a lot that’s went around this table. Waylon Jennings sat right there in that chair and showed Miley Cyrus the chords to ‘Good Hearted Woman,’ ” he says. Then he sets the record straight about his daughter’s money, saying, “For the record, to set it straight, I want to tell you: I’ve never made a dime off of Miley. You got a lot of people have made percentages off of her. I’m proud to say to this day I’ve never made one commissioned dollar, or dime, off of my daughter.” And he talks about why he didn’t go to her 18th birthday party. “You know why I didn’t go? Because they were having it in a bar. It was wrong. It was for 21 years old and up. Once again all them people, they all wanted me to fly out so that then when all the bad press came they could say, ‘Daddy endorsed this stuff … .’ I started realizing I’m being used,” Cyrus said. He also admits the television business drove a wedge between him and Miley, that shooting season four of Hannah Montana was a disaster because his family had fallen apart and that he is scared for Miley. Then he explains the complicated love triangle that yielded him two kids in 1992 and gave Miley a half brother just about six months younger. And towards the end, in an angry burst of blame, Cyrus says of the Hannah Montana series, “I’ll tell you right now — the damn show destroyed my family. And I sit there and go, ‘Yeah, you know what? Some gave all.’ It is my motto, and guess what? I have to eat that one. I some-gave-all’d it all right. I some-gave-all’d it while everybody else was going to the bank. It’s all sad.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.