Miley Cyrus is a "very, very smart young lady," dad Billy Ray Cyrus says, citing the former "Hannah Montana" child star's "drastic" attempt at reinventing herself while commenting about her controversial MTV Video Music Awards performance and semi-naked "Wrecking Ball" music video.
The country singer, who starred on the Disney Channel series with his daughter, made his comments on the CNN talk show "Piers Morgan Tonight" on Thursday. He added that he gets a "laugh" out of seeing himself in online photos parodying his daughter's "Wrecking Ball" video.
"Miley is a very, very smart young lady and reinventing is tough," Billy Ray told host Pier Morgan. "It's that intangible. You either find it or you don't and sometimes it takes that evolution. Miley has been around a lot of the greats like Dolly [Parton], who have went through that continual process of reinvention (sic)."
"Miley's smart enough to know that to come out of the shadows of 'Hannah Montana,' it really takes sometimes extremely drastic, which, when you go to that level, it creates passion and passion is either love or hate. There's no middle of the road for passion."
Miley's MTV VMAs performance, which saw her "twerk" suggestively against singer Robin Thicke, was heavily criticized by viewers and spurred 150 FCC complaints. Almost a month later, people are still talking about it.
It was followed by the release of her music video for her emotional ballad "Wrecking Ball." Many scenes in the clip show her sitting on a swinging wrecking ball naked. Billy Ray had told ETOnline earlier this month that her vocal performance "reflects her roots and sheer God-given talent."
"I've seen the craziest things"
The clip spurred a slew of photo and video parodies. One shows images of Miley possessing Nicolas Cage's face. Another shows the singer sitting on her Billy Ray's face in place of the wrecking ball.
"It gets even stranger when that little girl becomes a young lady and then you go on Twitter and you see where people have put her on top of your head and I've seen the craziest things ... and I get a laugh out of it too," Billy Ray told Morgan.
"In today's world the shock factor is tremendously higher than it used to be," he added. "She's never been arrested. She's really very focused and loves what's she's doing. That's the main thing for me as a dad, to see my little girl doing what she loves, making the music that she loves to make."
You can watch Miley Cyrus' new music video on her YouTube page (Warning: NSFW - contains apparent nudity and sexual content).
Watch Billy Ray Cyrus' interview on "Piers Morgan Tonight" and tell us -- do you agree Miley is a "very, very smart young lady"? Vote in our poll.