Billy Ray Defends Miley Cyrus: 'She's Evolving'

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(PHOTO:Miley Cyrus)Reports credit Miley Cyrus with inspiring Oxford to add "twerking" to dictionary.

Billy Ray Cyrus recently defended his daughter Miley in the wake of ongoing criticism surrounding her MTV VMA's performance.

The country music star, 52, spoke candidly about Miley's over-the-top performance during a sit down interview with CNN's Piers Morgan on Thursday. Miley, 19, took to the stage on August 25 dressed in a latex bra and hotpants to perform her hit single "We Can't Stop."

"I'm her daddy. I come from that school of -- as a singer-songwriter, as a musician – that it starts with a song. And it's that magic moment when a song finds the right artist, the right singer, and it becomes a synchronicity of that moment in time," the "Achy Breaky Heart" singer told Morgan.

"Miley harnessed that into something very special. She's just Miley. She's an artist, she's real," he explained.

The former Disney star's skimpy appearance and lewd dance routine shocked fans and sparked widespread criticism. Various critics questioned whether Miley's over-the-top performance was simply a desperate attempt to permanently break away from her "Hannah Montana" image, and Billy Ray appeared to confirm this while defending the singer to Morgan.

"I think that's 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. That's still my Miley," he 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," he continued adding "But there's no middle of the road for passion."

Cyrus, who at one point danced provocatively with singer Robin Thicke, faced severe backlash for her overtly sexualized performance. The pop star reportedly lost the opportunity to cover Vogue magazine in December and recently split from Australian actor, Liam Hemsworth, following claims that he felt humiliated.

"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," Billy Ray conceded. "Would we have been here talking about it? No way."

Over the past year Miley has made headlines for various reasons including her substantial weight loss; edgy haircuts; getting her 10th tattoo and wrist cutting suspicion. The singer appears to have no regrets about her erratic behavior.

"I was born to become who I am right now," Miley said in her upcoming MTV documentary "Miley: The Movement." "I'm at a point in my career where I can be exactly what I want to be, who I want to be."