Billy Ray Cyrus and fellow singer Firerose have made their engagement official in a new interview with People magazine.
The Achy Breaky Heart hitmaker announced on 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, went public with their engagement last month by sharing a photo of their diamond ring on Instagram.
“She’s the real deal,” Cyrus told People.
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News of the engagement resurfaced this week after the happy couple shared their sweet story in detail with People.
Cyrus — who starred alongside his on- and off-screen daughter Miley Cyrus in Hannah Montana — recalled first seeing Firerose while pausing near the sitcom’s set with his dog Tex.
“I loved doing this show,” he told People. “There are some old pine trees on the property that look like Tennessee. Tex and I went there in the middle of the day and he went about his business and we stretched and I thought how much I missed Tennessee. On that particular day, Firerose walked out the front door. There was almost a moment of…appreciation. I was like, ‘This girl is a star.’”
Firerose, who recognized Cyrus and “has known his music for ages,” greeted the actor’s dog and told him she was there for an audition. (“For ages,” Cyrus repeated to People. “I’ve been at it that long.”)
At the time, Cyrus was married to Miley’s mother, Tish Cyrus, who filed for divorce from her husband of almost 30 years in April after two previous divorce attempts.
When they met, he offered Firerose a few words of encouragement and invited her to visit the Hannah Montana soundstage.
“I actually said to her, ‘Never take a strange man on that offer, but in this case, Tex will testify that you’re absolutely safe,'” he told People.
“‘I’ll introduce you to a producer and you can feel right at home and watch us rehearse and, you know, maybe that leads to a role or just another connection at Disney.’ And so me and her and Tex went back into 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 strong,” and they eventually became songwriting partners during the Covid-19 pandemic. The couple released two songs together: New Day, which came out in July last year, and Time, which came out on Tuesday.
“Billy confided in me a lot about what was going on in his life,” Firerose said. “I was just the best friend I could be and I was supportive.”
Cyrus proposed without a ring in August, and Firerose happily accepted before finding and fitting her own diamond and band.
“Firerose … was such a light of positivity, such a best friend,” Cyrus said.
“Once we started sharing the music, it just evolved…as musical soulmates, into soulmates, happy, pure love that…I didn’t know could exist…We’re musicians first, both of us.” And we found this harmony and this rhythm, this melody to life.”
Cyrus also denied that his divorce led to an argument with his children, including Miley, 29.
“Everyone knew about this relationship [with his ex] It’s been a long time,” he told People.
“Everyone turns the page. It was a lot, but everyone knew it was time for a change.”