Billy Ray Cyrus Talks Family Collaborations Amid Quarantine (Exclusive)
By Jackie Willis
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Billy Ray Cyrus is always ready for a family jam session! The country crooner chats with ET's Rachel Smith about how his family is coping with quarantine and what he's doing to give back amid this troubling time.
"It's been crazy tough. It's been tough on everybody," he says of the coronavirus pandemic. "All of a sudden you find this point where time doesn't even matter."
As for what he's doing in quarantine, fans of Billy Ray's will be happy to know that he and his famous family are always collaborating, especially now that they're all at home. "I think you're seeing it right now. It's actually happening. It's all in the box," he says of possibly working with his kids and wife, Tish Cyrus. "It all at this point is one big collaboration."
Amid the quarantine, the 58-year-old singer says he's been able to spend time with daughter Miley and his mother, Ruth Ann Casto. "I got to see Miley a great amount of time. We even spent my mother's birthday together. My mom got a picnic table," he shares. "Miley coming over, breaking bread on her new picnic table on [my mom's] birthday kind of brought everything full circle."
Billy Ray also says he just recently found a song lyric Miley wrote when she was just a little girl. In one of her old notebooks, he says she had jotted down a quote that read: "A dream is a great thing, a dreamer is someone who can make a difference."
During such a troubling time for so many, Billy Ray is making a difference. The father of six recently donated 20,000 face masks to the Navajo and Hopi Relief Fund, and will be performing his and Meghan Patrick's new song, "Higher Ground," on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET as part of CMT's Feed the Front Line Live benefit concert. The event will stream on CMT's YouTube and Facebook pages.
Billy Ray explains why the message of "Higher Ground" is so important right now. "This has been a moment that has its own life, its own energy, and its own purpose and I do hope everyone is reaching for higher ground," he declares before calling out the need at Navajo reservations.
"Tragically, once again, these folks have been dealt a very unfair hand," he says. "They're living tough enough as it is and been very strong and good at it but this thing [pandemic] came in and took a hold and they're in need of emergency right now. It's like the hottest spot in America. If everybody could just pitch in and put this fire out, like, today, that would be great."