Billy Ray Cyrus Defends 16-Year-Old Miley's Pole Dance

Celebrity News Aug. 20, 2009 AT 4:04PM
Billy Ray Cyrus and Miley Cyrus Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images; Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com

Billy Ray Cyrus doesn't think daughter Miley's pole dance at the Teen Choice Awards earlier this month was so controversial.

"You know what? I just think that Miley loves entertaining people," he tells Access Hollywood at Thursday's Hellman's/Facebook Feeding American Event in NYC.

See Miley's most scandalous moments.

"She loves singing [and] songwriting," he adds of his 16-year-old daughter, who swirled around a pole attached to an ice cream truck during her performance of "Party in the USA" Aug. 10.

In an Usmagazine.com poll, 85 percent of readers voted she was too young to dance so provocatively.

Check out embarrassing photos of stars dancing.

Billy Ray tells his daughter to ignore negative reactions.

"I always tell her to love what you're doing and stay focused for the love of the art and not worry so much about opinion," he says. "I give my kids a lot of freedom to make the art they wanna make, and make it in their own voice. I think it's important," Billy tells Us at the same event.

See what the stars wore to the Teen Choice Awards.

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