From releasing “Old Town Road” with Lil Nas X to now being named as one of the co-hosts for the 2019 CCMA Awards, you could say that it’s been a crazy year so far for Billy Ray Cyrus.
While sitting down with ET Canada’s Cheryl Hickey in Toronto, the country music sensation shares why he can’t wait to work alongside Dallas Smith at the awards ceremony in Calgary in September.
“With Dallas he was just a natural man. Like it felt pretty good like right off the bat. As soon as he said he was an Olympic bowler, I was hooked,” Cyrus shares.
One other person the 57-year-old has been fortunate enough to work this year was Lil Nas X. The duo released their hit collaboration “Old Town Road”, which has now been number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts for 18 weeks straight.
“When I’m dead and gone people will be talking about Lil Nas being one of the great thinkers of our time,” he says of the breakout musician. “He had never played a live show. More importantly what he did do was look into what makes music be able to go around the world, without a major record company, without a million dollars, without the whole promo team.”
But, as it turns out, this collaboration almost didn’t happen, with Cyrus explaining that he initially didn’t know what he could add to the original track.
“I had got this message that Lil Nas was trying to get the song to me to hear it,” he says. “I didn’t know what I could do for it to be honest. I answered back and said, ‘Thank you for thinking of me but I don’t really know what I could do to this it’s already a monster smash. There’s nothing that I could do to it but mess it up.'”
However, when it comes to making big musical decisions, the country star says that he leans on his instincts to guide him in the right direction.
“There’s a lot more talented people. There’s a lot better singers. There’s a lot better songwriters. But the one thing that I do have is that God gave me a gift of every now and then I might get a feeling about something,” he tells Hickey. “I had that feeling about ‘Achy Breaky Heart’. I had a feeling about ‘Hannah Montana’. I felt that Miley [Cyrus] was Hannah Montana. That show was gonna be a hit.”
So, could there be a potential “Hannah Montana” reboot with him and his daughter in the future?
“I have a feeling it might. It could. Everything is possible,” Cyrus shares. “Certainly worth thinking about. It sounds fun to me. I’ve always wanted like a prequel.”
“When you look at the realism of ‘Hannah Montana’ and where she started as that 12-year-old, 13-year-old girl… well there was a whole life for ‘Hannah Montana’ that happened before that,” he adds.
Although Miley has moved on from her Disney days, the country star says he still sees his daughter as the little girl she was back then.
“To me she’s still just little Miley,” he shares. “To see her step out there and do what she does. Entertaining people and becoming an entertainer. She’s been one her entire life.”
Tune in to the 2019 CCMA Awards on Sunday, September 8, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Global.