Billy Ray Cyrus Talks Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth Split: She’s “Happiest She’s Ever Been”

Billy Ray Cyrus in 2011
 Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Sounds about right. Miley Cyrus has been downright unavoidable for the past two months or so — and, despite her recently eighty-sixed engagement with Liam Hemsworth, the 20-year-old superstar has been grinning (and wagging her tongue) through it all. Miley's famous dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, opened up for the first time about the end of his daughter's romance with Hemsworth, 23.

"All I know for sure is I heard my daughter say today she's the happiest she's ever been in her life immediately following [the breakup.] That's when I saw Miley being so happy," Billy Ray, 52, told Entertainment Tonight. Miley's rep confirmed to Us Weekly Sept. 16 that the former Last Song costars had called off their wedding plans for good. The couple had been estranged for many months, with the Australian hunk, even wooing Mad Men's January Jones behind Miley's back earlier this year.

Observed Miley's father: "Somewhere along the stress and strain of different things I didn't see her smiling as often for a little while." (In a recent interview with Canada's Fashion magazine, Miley hinted that back in February she wanted to "leave" Hemsworth.

These days, Billy Ray says, the former Disney starlet is flying high as a single lady. "All of a sudden she's like the sun, and when she smiles it's light. . . . Everything happens for a reason and the main thing for me, as Miley’s daddy, is she's happy."

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