Billy Ray Cyrus (Stacie McChesney/Getty Images)
"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 it's all of what everyone is calling controversy now," he mused before reassuring the host, "That's still my Miley."
However, when asked if he received a heads up about the 20-year-old's plans for her VMA performance, Billy Ray kept it kind of vague.
"I knew that she wanted to do something really special and something that everybody 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. It became that moment of a singer/ songwriter/entertainer finding that special moment and sometimes controversy lies in that special moment," he explained. (Well, it was "special" all right. We can't argue there.)
The singer, 52, continued to defend his offspring even more, noting, "I've never known any great artist that was lukewarm … You either love it or you hate it. Miley again, you know, I think she could've went out and sang the song in a flannel shirt and a pair of jeans, and it would have still been just as strong. Would we have been here talking about it? No way."
Miley and Robin Thicke at the VMAs (FilmMagic)
"Just the fact that she cut her hair off, that was huge," Billy Ray agreed. "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."
Piers even went out of his way to argue that Miley should not be put in the same camp as "Lindsay Lohan and the others." Not surprisingly, Billy Ray was happy to agree.
[Related: Miley's Tongue Can't Be Tamed (Photos)]
"She knows the chart; she set a path. She knew what she wanted to do and in today's world the shock factor is tremendously higher than it used to be." In other words, everything is playing out exactly as his daughter intended ... and he's fine with that.
Still, Billy Ray never really answered the question about how Miley's super-sexual performance and videos have made him feel as a father. "It gets even stranger when that little girl becomes a young lady and you go on Twitter and you see where people have put her on top of your head," he deflected. "I've seen some crazy stuff."
So have we, Billy Ray, so have we.
Watch Billy Ray's interview on "Piers Morgan Live":
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