September 20, 2013 10:57am PT by Hilary Lewis
Billy Ray Cyrus on Miley's VMA Performance: 'She's Evolving as an Artist' (Video)
Miley Cyrus' dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, is finally weighing in on his daughter's racy performance at last month's MTV Video Music Awards.
Although she grinded up against Robin Thicke and danced around suggestively with a foam finger, the elder Cyrus told CNN's Piers Morgan that he isn't bothered by his daughter's antics, which he merely sees as part of her reinventing herself as an artist.
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"She's just Miley," Cyrus said on Thursday's Piers Morgan Live. "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."
As for whether he knew what she had planned for her now-legendary performance, Cyrus would only say, "I knew that she wanted to do something really special and something everyone was going to be talking about. I knew that she had put in a great deal of practice and thought into what was going to happen in New York."
He went on to praise his daughter for working hard and taking risks to evolve as an artist.
"For me to think how hard she's worked to get to this point and what a risk," he said. "Just the fact that she went and cut her hair off, that was huge. She could have stayed Hannah Montana forever and made a great living doing that. But she's more of an artist than that, and she wanted to evolve, and she had to take her time and let that evolution take place. And again, she's very, very smart and she's had all of this thought out in advance."
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The elder Cryus noted that change often creates controversy.
"Miley's smart enough to know that to come out of the shadows of Hannah Montana, it really takes something extremely drastic," he said. "You can either love it or you can hate it, and that's everyone's right to do so because it's art. Miley, again, I think that she could have went out and sang the song in a flannel shirt and a pair of jeans and it still would've been just as strong. Would we still be here talking about it right now? No way."
Miley Cyrus also released the first trailer for her MTV documentary Miley: The Movement, which is set to air on MTV on Wednesday, Oct. 2. In the clip, the pop star is shown rehearsing, recording her album, greeting fans and preparing for the VMAs.
"Everyone takes the VMAs so serious, and I just want to come out and, like, shoot a hotdog gun. I just wanna have fun," Miley Cyrus is shown saying. "You're always going to make people talk. You might as well make them talk for two weeks, rather than two seconds."
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She also talks about how she wants to be different.
"Everytime I do anything, I want to remember, 'This is what separates me from everybody else,' " she says. "I have this freedom to do whatever I want because I'm starting as a new artist now."
Watch the full trailer below.