Billy Ray Cyrus: "That's Still My Miley"

Since, for some reason, people are still talking about that whole SHOCKING MILEY CYRUS VMA PERFORMANCE OMG WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN, Billy Ray Cyrus appeared on last night's episode of CNN's Piers Morgan Live while his name was still once again relevant, and to discuss how he feels about his adult daughter making decisions about her own body and career. Fascinating. Tell us, Billy Ray, please:

"She's an artist. She's real. I think that what's happened over the years, Miley has been reinventing her sound. She's evolving as an artist herself. I think that 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. But there's no middle of the road for passion," he said, adding that the performance pushed his daughter to new heights.

"She has risen to a whole new level. I thought I had seen it all -- until these last couple of weeks," he told CNN's Morgan.

Okay, I have to say — he means well. There's no question about that, and it's clear he wants to protect his daughter from this media shitstorm that's surrounded her since the VMAs.

But was there ever any question that B angerz -era Miley was not Miley? The girl is 20 years old, and finally attempting to take her career into her own hands and put out music that she is personally proud of. Say what you want about the twerking and Bangerz — I'm not even a fan myself — but Miley Cyrus during (and for a few years after) the Hannah Montana years was just another manufactured pop star, imprisoned by her contract with Disney. All this so-called "controversy" about her "evolving style" is really just an adult woman finally taking control of her sexuality.

Billy Ray is right that Miley is still the same Miley she always was — but why are we asking his opinion anyway?