Billy Ray Cyrus and fellow singer Firerose have made their engagement official in a new interview with People magazine.
The “Achy Breaky Heart” hitmaker revealed Wednesday that he met his new fiancée, an Australian musician, 12 years ago while working on the popular Disney Channel series, “Hannah Montana.” Cyrus, 61, and Firerose, 34, seemingly went public with their engagement last month by sharing a photo of her diamond ring on Instagram.
“She’s the real deal,” Cyrus told People.
News of the betrothal resurfaced this week after the happy couple recounted their meet-cute story in detail to People. Cyrus — who starred in “Hannah Montana” opposite his on- and off-screen daughter, Miley Cyrus — recalled seeing Firerose for the first time while taking a break with his dog, Tex, near the set of the sitcom.
“I loved doing that show,” he told people. “There’s a couple old pine trees on the lot that look like Tennessee. Tex and I would go out there in the middle of the day and he’d take care of his business and we’d stretch and I’d think how much I missed Tennessee. On that given day, Firerose came out of the front door. There was almost a moment of … recognition. I was like, ‘This girl’s a star.’”
Firerose, who recognized Cyrus and had “known his music since forever,” greeted the actor’s dog and told him she was there for an audition. (“Since forever,” Cyrus repeated to People. “That’s how long I’ve been around.”)
At the time, Cyrus was married to Miley’s mother, Tish Cyrus, who filed for divorce from her husband of nearly 30 years in April following two previous divorce attempts. When they met, he gave Firerose some words of encouragement and invited her to visit the “Hannah Montana” soundstage.
“I actually said to her, ‘Don’t ever take a strange man up on this offer, but, in this case, Tex will testify that you will be totally safe,’” he told People.
“‘I’m going to introduce you to a producer and you can kind of make yourself at home and watch us rehearse and you know, maybe it might lead to a role or just another contact at Disney.’ And so, off me and her and Tex went back to the studio and I think she met a lot of the cast and met the producers, writers. And … we became friends.”
“Over the years,” Firerose said, the recording artists’ bond became “so solid,” and they eventually became songwriting partners during the COVID-19 pandemic. The couple has released two songs together: “New Day,” which came out in July of last year, and “Time,” which came out Tuesday.
“Billy confided in me a lot of what was going on in his life,” Firerose said. “I was just the best friend I could possibly be, supporting him.”
Cyrus proposed in August without a ring, and Firerose happily accepted before finding and customizing her own diamond and band.
“Firerose … had been such a light of positivity, such a best friend,” Cyrus said.
“When we began sharing the music, it just evolved … as musical soulmates, to soulmates, happy, pure love that … I didn’t know could exist. … We’re musicians, first and foremost, both of us. And we found this harmony, and this rhythm, this melody to life.”
Cyrus also denied that his divorce has led to a falling-out with his children, including Miley, 29.
“Everyone knew that that relationship [with his ex] was over a long time ago,” he told People. “Everybody’s turning the page. It’s been a lot, but everyone knew that it was time for a change.”