Billy Ray Cyrus Engaged to Australian Singer Firerose

Billy Ray Cyrus shares his core beliefs. For one thing, the country music star knows what makes a good duet. (Nineteen weeks of “Old Town Road” featuring Lil Nas X at No. 1 helped solidify that.) He’s confident in the value dogs bring to this world. (He’s convinced his late German shepherd Tex was a matchmaker—more on that in a second.) And here at age 61, he’s finally convinced of Newton’s Third Law. But ever the rebel, he has his own spin on the concept of action and reaction. “For everything that is good,” he says, “there has always been something equally bad.” That is his experience, he says. “I’ve never really known the middle.”

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The singer and actor is known as much as the singer of “Achy Breaky Heart” that launched him to stardom 30 years ago, as he is the father of Miley, who launched her to stardom when they both appeared Hannah Montana from 2006 to 2011. He plays again, in a new film, Christmas in paradise with Kelsey Grammer and Elizabeth Hurley. Of working with Hurley, he says, “On set, I just thought, ‘This must be what it was like to work with Elizabeth Taylor.’

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Cyrus says that after a period of “bad” (he and wife Tish divorced in April, his mother Ruth Ann Casto died four months later) he’s now getting some “good.” He is engaged. And yes, he says, Tex introduced him to his fiancée, a 34-year-old singer who goes by the name Firerose. (About her name: It was given to her by her grandmother as a child in Australia, she says, and is now her legal name. “It’s always been how I’ve identified myself.”) “She’s the real deal,” says Cyrus.

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Billy Ray Cyrus and Firerose.
Billy Ray Cyrus/Instagram

It was 12 years ago and Cyrus was on the set of the Disney Channel series in Los Angeles. “I loved doing that show,” he recalls. “There’s a couple of old pines on the lot that look like Tennessee. Tex and I would go out there in the middle of the day and he’d take care of his business and we’d stretch and I’d think about how much I missed Tennessee. On that given day, Firerose came out the front door. There was almost a moment of, I don’t know, recognition. I thought, ‘This girl is a star.’

There was no way Cyrus could have known her. But Firerose knew who Cyrus was. “Growing up in Australia, my love of music was overriding,” she says. “I’ve known his music since forever.”

“‘Since forever,'” Cyrus mocks playfully. “That’s how long I’ve been around.”

Firerose came over to say hello to Tex. “She told me she had an audition and I said, ‘Well, I’m sure you got the job.'” Firerose doesn’t remember what she auditioned for, but she didn’t get the job. Cyrus had an idea that day. “I just thought, well, the casting agents, the producers, the writers, they’re all on the floor where we do Hannah Montana. And I actually said to her, ‘Never take a stranger up on this offer, but in this case Tex will testify that you will be absolutely safe. I’ll introduce you to a producer and you can kind of feel at home and watch us rehearse and, you know, maybe that could lead to a role or just another contact at Disney.’ And then me and her and Tex went back to the studio and I think she met a lot of the actors and met the producers, the writers. And in some ways, yes, in many ways, we became friends.”

“Time” song art.
Courtesy Billy Ray Cyrus

They kept in touch. Firerose asked Cyrus to hear some of her music. “Our friendship was so solid over the years,” says Firerose. When the pandemic began, they became songwriting partners. “She plays all her own instruments and writes her own songs,” says Cyrus. “We started sharing music and it just evolved.” In July 2021, they released “New Day”, their first song together. “Billy confided in me a lot of what was going on in his life,” says Firerose, alluding to his marital strife. “I was just being the best friend I could possibly be and supporting him.”

Cyrus and Tish have since finalized their divorce. (It was the third time the couple had applied.) Moving forward after that “took a lot of prayer. A.” lot,” says Cyrus, who asked Firerose if they could be more than friends.

“There was sickness and death and hard times,” Cyrus says of life during the pandemic. “Suddenly, the life I’ve always known as a touring artist no longer existed. A moment of so much change. And at the same time, Firerose, who had been such a beacon of positivity, such a best friend. And then when we started sharing the music, it just evolved into more, like musical soulmates, into soulmates, happy, pure love that I didn’t know could exist. Again, we’re musicians, first and foremost, rather than both of us. And we found this harmony and this rhythm, this melody to life.”

In the early summer, Firerose moved to Cyrus’ farm in Franklin, Tenn., where his mother, then ill, also lived. In August, Cyrus proposed. There was no bent knee. No ring. “Billy looked at me and said, ‘Will you marry me?’ And I just thought, “Of course I will. I love you,” says Firerose, who later chose a diamond and designed her own ring. “He said, ‘I love you. I will make this official. I want to be with you forever.’ ”

Despite rumors of a split with his children – he is father to son Christopher Cody (with ex-girlfriend Kristin Luckey), 30, and shares daughters Miley, Brandi, 35, and Noah, 22, and sons Trace, 33, and Braison, 28, with Tish – Cyrus says there are no hard feelings. “Everybody knew that relationship was over a long time ago,” he says. “Everyone is turning the page. It’s been a lot, but everyone knew it was time for a change.”

Cyrus says his new single with Firerose, titled “Time” (watch the exclusive music video above), is a reckoning. “I’ve spent my life worrying about things out of my control. But at this point in my life, I know that all you really have is the happiness you feel inside your mind and your heart ….” He pauses and begins to cry. “Finding Firerose and getting engaged and then losing my mother [a few weeks later]-see? The rocker-rocker won’t stay in the middle,” he says. “But having someone to ride it out with now—it gives me a little more balance.”


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