Tag Archives: Miley Cyrus

Billy Ray Cyrus Book Bound to Engender Emotional Response

Billy Ray Cyrus

Even with publication of Billy Ray Cyrus’ Hillbilly Heart memoir more than a year away, it’s a safe bet that the book will engender emotional responses — for and against.

The tome, Cyrus purportedly opens up about his own rebellious youth, his rise to fame with “Achy Breaky Heart,” and the role that religious faith plays in his life.  And of course, there’s the eye-catching part:  that he writes “with great candor” about the challenges of raising his talented wild child daughter, Miley.   Uh-oh.

Having been continuously accused of exploiting Miley’s success for his own career gain ever since “Hannah Montana” made her a Disney Channel It Girl in 2006, Billy Ray’s had more than his share of print misadventures.  There was the infamous Vanity Fair story of 2008, with the cover picture of a bare-topped, 15-year-old Miley amid rumpled sheets and an eyebrow-raising father-daughter inside photo spread.  There was his notorious GQ interview of a year ago, in which he criticized “Hannah Montana” and the people handling Miley’s career — in addition to comparing her to the late Anna Nicole Smith while airing his worries about her many episodes of questionable behavior.  When her widely-reported response was hurt and anger, he talked some more about wanting to repair his familial relationships in People.  And then there are the stories of his own interesting relationship histories, including fathering children with two different women in the same year.

No wonder Billy Ray comes off extremely guarded — wounded — in interviews, unless he happens to be talking about such safe topics as his music and charitable causes.

Which brings us to the other Billy Ray, the patriotic guy who has visited countless troops here and in Iraq and Afghanistan, has supported various worthy causes and has played roles in uplifting fare.  To his fans, he’s gotten a bum rap in the media.

Now, with his Amazon book deal, the public will get a chance to hear the whole Cyrus story from Billy Ray himself.  No prejudiced journalists spinning his words negatively or taking them out of context.  No photographer surprises.  It will be all his way, in his hands.  Miley, gird yourself.

ALSO TELLING ALL:  Debbie Reynolds has a gloves-off memoir coming out in 2013 also — “Unsinkable,” which is being described as her “definitive memoir and tell-all.”  By the time it’s released, the Hollywood icon will be 80.  Publishers Lunch (which is its own entity, and not related to Publishers Weekly as we said the other day) points out that Debbie published her first autobiography in 1988, and quotes her observation, “When I read the optimistic ending of that book now, I can’t believe how naïve I was when I wrote it.”

Marty Allen and Robin Williams

FUNNY BUSINESS:  Robin Williams and Mort Sahl were among the Marty Allen admirers who turned out to see the pudgy veteran comic perform at Marin County’s 142 Throckmorton Theatre the other night.  He performed along with his wife, singer/comedian Karon Blackwell.  Marty says, “Karon and I are like the new Burns and Allen, except I’m Gracie.”  Marty turns 90 on March 23.

CLOSING UP ‘HOUSE’:  Considering that Hugh Laurie said way back in May of 2011 that the end of “House’s” eighth season would likely be its swan song — “That’s as long as they’ve got me for” — it’s surprising that anyone is surprised the show is readying for its final farewell.  Laurie also made no secret of the fact he missed his family in the U.K. and yearned to spend more time on his music.  However, he certainly appreciated the success of his rightly-acclaimed show.  As he told this column, “It’s not quite winning the lottery, but close to it. When you realize the number of projects that die in pilot stage, the number of pilots that never become shows, the number of series that never last more than a season, well, I look back and feel like we walked through a mine field.  We had a very modest beginning.  I never realized how fragile we were as an infant show or the fact we were in sort of intensive care for awhile.  And yet we managed to survive.”

First Candidate For Tacky Taste 2011: Billy Ray Cyrus

Miley Cyrus poledance

Here it is, only February and already we have a strong candidate for this year’s Tacky Taste Awards:  poor pitiful papa Billy Ray Cyrus, for the GQ interview in which he blames “Hannah Montana” for pretty much all the ills in his life — including the end of his marriage and his concerns over the behavior of his 18-year-old daughter, Miley.

“The damn show destroyed my family,” he proclaims.  He gripes that every time there was a scandal, like Miley’s awards show pole dancing or her sexually provocative Vanity Fair photos, his daughter’s “handlers” had the nerve to put him before the press to take the heat. “‘Somebody’s shooting at Miley!  Put the old man up there!’ Well, I took it, because I’m her daddy, and that’s what daddies do. ‘Okay, nail me to the cross, I’ll take it,” he whines.

Good daddies don’t allow their little girls be photographed topless cuddling a bed sheet at age 15, or join them for creepy couple-style shots that hint at incest.  Billy Ray’s mea culpa in GQ is all about how he should have been more of a parent and less of a friend to Miley, but doesn’t include anything about his responsibility in matters like photos in which he was personally involved.

To many observers, his true priorities have often shown through the thin veneer of a family man performance.  This is the guy who tended to frown, sigh, purse his lips, become clipped or otherwise give evidence of his distaste whenever press asked Miley-related questions — instead of Billy Ray-related questions.  Even in the best of times.  He rode the young talent’s coattails into an obviously fervently-desired fresh wave of fame.  And now that his “Hannah Montana” ride is over, he’s in GQ, pointing fingers at everyone else for Miley’s excesses.

Hate to achy breaky it to you, Billy Ray, but GQ would never have been interested had it not been for her.

Miley Cyrus Latest Disney Darling to Go From Virginal to Vixenish

Miley Cyrus at 2009 Teen Choice Awards

As Miley Cyrus contemplates her disappointing “Can’t Be Tamed” album sales and absorbs response to her latest stream of “Let Me Prove to You I’m a Grownup” antics – lap dancing with a director, vamping it up in tarty outfits on stage – we can’t help but compare her journey to those of so many Disney darlings before her.

What is it about crashing a sweet, virginal image to smithereens that makes it so inviting?

Of course, Britney Spears leaps to mind.  Miley has made it clear she’s a huge fan of  the 28-year-old superstar whose rollercoaster life has provided careers for tabloid writers and bloggers and paparazzi since 1999, when the former Mousketeer caused a stir with a Rolling Stone magazine cover in which she appeared lying on her bed clad in shorts, bra, and open top.  The American Family Association called for a boycott of stores selling her albums.  Shades of Miley’s Vanity Fair Lolita-esque photo brouhaha.

Christina Aguilera, Britney’s fellow former Mousketeer, traded in her girl-next-door wholesomeness for piercings, a neck tattoo, and a string of raunchy songs and videos.

Older audience members remember original Mousketeer Doreen Tracy, who posed for the men’s magazine Gallery wearing her Mousketeer ears and not much else, and who came out with a book, “Confessions of a Mouseketeer.”

Sadly, there is the train wreck that is once-promising Disney movie star Lindsay Lohan.

Somehow, “Princess Diaries” star Anne Hathaway managed to transition to adulthood in such a deft and sophisticated way, her audience accepted her doing nudity in movies and handling exceptionally gritty material – as in her Oscar-nominated turn in “Rachel Getting Married” – with little turmoil

Which is more than can be said for Hathaway’s onscreen grandma, the Queen of Genovia herself, the great Julie Andrews.  Globally adored after successes including “Mary Poppins” and “The Sound of Music,” she was delighted when her husband, Blake Edwards, put her in his 1981 satire “S.O.B.” as a goody-goody actress who makes a musical that flops and is then re-shot as a pornographic film.

Julie Andrews in "S.O.B."

“Mary Poppins Goes Topless” screamed headlines.  It created a furor at the time, but was eventually granted grudging acceptance.  Sure, she did it – but we’d rather watch the movies that have our Julie practically perfect in every way.

Beck/Smith Hollywood Tacky Taste Awards 2009

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all and a big thank you to readers of this column who submitted candidates for this year’s Tacky Taste Awards.  From lofty heights to lowlifes, cheesy reality TV stars to the Nobel Prize Committee – 2009 marks possibly the most wide-ranging menu of celebrity bad taste we’ve seen in the history of this contest!   So let’s get to it:

Jon Gosselin

Jon Gosselin

1.  Jon & Kate Gosselin.  The couple who rose to fame as the parents of cute twins and sextuplets – and gained infamy with their bitter split, their affairs, their ugly accusations, oversized egos, etc. were deemed tackiest by a clear majority.  As longtime reader B.B. Richmond of Naples, Florida Fla. put it:  “There could not be a Tacky Taste Award without mentioning Jon and Kate, the All-American loonies. Where did Jon and Kate get the ‘great’ idea to pimp out their kids?  ACORN?  I can envision ACORN advising them. ‘Don’t call it “child abuse,” call it a “Reality TV Show.”’ Hopefully the kids will earn enough money to pay for the best mental help money can buy.” 

Kate Gosselin

Kate Gosselin

Other readers echoed her sentiments:  “The Gosselins should win in tandem,” said Carma, adding, “It’s like they had a tacky-thon to see who could embarrass themselves more.  At least Jon shows some regret for his behavior, she never apologizes for being a ‘B’ from hell!”  Diana wrote: “Kate Gosselin, for so very many things, but mostly for going on national TV and crying about how she can’t afford to feed her children in one breath, then in the next bragging about the diamond and ‘mother of pearl’ she’s going to buy (she clearly does not know what mother of pearl is).

joe-jackson2.  Joe Jackson.  “Joe Jackson is your walking definition of tackiness.  What could be tackier than trying to hype his new record label on the red carpet of an awards show right after Michael’s death?” asked Greg B. of Canoga Park, CA.  Savannah wrote that Jackson’s attitude seems to be: “Just because everyone knows I abused Michael doesn’t mean I’m not gonna contest the will!” 

Kanye West

Kanye West

3.  “Mr. Bad Attitude Kanye West, for spoiling Taylor Swift’s award moment,” as reader Margo P. put it, speaking of West jumping onstage and interrupting Swift’s acceptance speech to say that Beyonce deserved the award.  And from Jed:  “Kanye West deserves a big a** kicking for his VMA stunt.”

 

Carrie Prejean

Carrie Prejean

4.  Dethroned Miss California Carrie Prejean.  From Jeff:  “Carrie Prejean takes the cake!  Skanky hypocrite with her holier than thou attitude, her fake boobs and her sex tape of her masturbating. Now the religious right is cutting ties with her. No one else comes close to this tackiness.”  Morgan P. of Cleveland found the humor:  “What a hoot!  She’s ready to walk off Larry King’s show over ‘inappropriate’ questions?  Larry King, the scary hard-hitting inquisitor.”

David Lettermn

David Lettermn

5.  David Letterman.  “Ughhhh,” wrote Judy O.  “I can’t watch him anymore, thinking of him doing the dirty old man number with his female staff.” “What a nauseating man.  Never liked his mean humor, so I’m glad he’s now getting some turn-about from other comics,” said M.M.

 

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus

 

6.  Miley Cyrus and her daddy, Billy Ray:  “Look at her tacky clothes.  She’s turning up the skank quotient!” wrote D. Lewis of New York.  “Last year it was the bedroom magazine pic, this year pole dancing on the Teen Choice Awards” – Carol.  “…And then come the comments from her father that it’s really okay, people are reading things into that aren’t there.  Riiiiight” – J. Horwitz, Newark, N.J. 

Levi Johnston

Levi Johnston

7.  Levi Johnston, the spotlight-loving father of Sarah Palin’s grandson, and ex-boyfriend of Bristol Palin:  From Patty W.: “Levi Johnston deserves to be named Tackiest. Also Vanity Fair and Playgirl and all the media rushing to help him embarrass Sarah Palin for fun and profit.”

 

Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese

 

8.  The Roman Polanski Defenders.  Contributor B.B. Richmond again summed up the feelings of others who expressed disgust toward those advocating in favor of director Roman Polanski’s release, more than three decades after being charged with rape and pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.  “It was treated like a ‘minor infraction’ by Hollywood beacons of morality Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, David Lynch, Jonathan Demme and Pedro Almodovar who signed a petition to demand Polanski’s release from jail on a morals crime.  Earth to those lights, so lofty that they are out of touch:  I will tell you the same thing that Sister Mary Ann taught in fifth grade, ‘Show me your friends and I will tell you what you are.’” 

Perez Hilton

Perez Hilton

9.  Perez Hilton.  The self-proclaimed most hated Hollywood blogger on the internet drew some hate from our readers, too, for several of his exploits this year, including his feud with the Black Eyed Peas’ Will.i.am.  “I am voting for Perez Hilton (who’s famous for what again?) for saying he’d been attacked by Will.i.am when it was clearly his manager,” wrote Isaac. 

Michael Lohan

Michael Lohan

10.   Michael Lohan:  Lindsay’s father got Tacky Awards attention for releasing  embarrassing and damning tapes about his troubled daughter.  “This man has no conscience.” – L. Ramirez, Albuquerque, N.M.

 DISHONORABLE MENTIONS go to Sammy Sosa for “looking whiter and brighter” – M.P; Sarah Palin for reasons including “her endless whining” – Tracey W; Glenn Beck, for “fear-mongering that goes beyond tacky” – D.L.; and the Nobel Prize Committee, for giving President Obama the Nobel Peace Price “for doing nothing.  It sort of cheapens the prize they gave Yasser Arafat, don‘t you think?” – B.R.

That’s it for this year.  From now on, may all your turkeys be tasty ones

Beck/Smith Hollywood Tacky Taste Awards 2008

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin

With Thanksgiving almost upon us again, it’s time to dish those celebrity turkeys whose behavior you found hard to swallow this year — the 2008 Tacky Taste Awards, voted on by readers. Here are the Top 10 results:

1. Sarah Palin. The former VP candidate may not have won on Nov. 4, but she won here, proving a lightning rod for tacky votes — with correspondence both condemning and defending her. “I have a big problem with Sarah Palin’s $150,000 wardrobe. So much for being for the working class,” wrote AlleeC via email. Grace H. of Burbank, Calif., wrote, “I second the nomination for Sarah Palin’s wardrobe and everything else Sarah Palin — such as her look-at-me-I’m-pregnant-and-single teenage daughter.”

But on the other hand, after we indicated in our column that the Alaska governor was drawing Tacky votes, a storm of letters came in on her behalf. Such as: “I think you two should be listed as tacky. How many times do you have to be told that Gov. Sarah Palin did not pick out the clothing, it was the RNC. She couldn’t move without the news media and photographers being on her trail, and yet how many photos did we see showing her in the exclusive stores?” wrote Martha J. of Chattanooga, Tenn. “What about the cost of Joe Biden’s botox and hair transplants?” mused Blake123 from the Internet. And then there were those, like KrisL of San Bernardino, Calif., who were disgusted by the triviality of it all: “Forget the economy, Iraq, global warming and health care. Let’s talk about her clothes! Now, that’s tacky.”

2. Madonna and Guy Ritchie. The ugly Madonna/Guy Ritchie divorce and how public they have been about dissing each other got readers’ attention. “He said she was like cuddling up to a piece of gristle, and at a concert she said her song ‘Miles Away’ was dedicated to the emotionally retarded, which people believed she was talking about him. Maybe they’re each right, but why to they have to go out and tell the world? After all, they picked each other,” wrote F.F. of Raleigh, N.C. PandagirlDeb emailed, “Divorce really sucks for the kids, and all the sniping in public doesn’t help.” “Her affair with Alex Rodriguez adds another tacky chapter to her slutty, tacky life story,” said Tony from Phoenix, Ariz.

3. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Angelina Jolie’s comment to the New York Times alluding to the fact that she and Brad Pitt fell in love while making “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” rankled more than a few. “So now the truth pops out. Whatever happened to her holier-than-thou statements that her mom was cheated on, so she’d never break up a marriage?” asked reader Jon S.

 

from Bloomfield, N.J. Sean-D emailed, “Why do people always rush to attack Jolie as if she was the sole culprit in this story, with Pitt getting a free pass? It ain’t right.” And then there are those who are just tired of the couple in general. As G.H. of Burbank put it, “I’m sick of Brangelina having kids every time they turn around and reading about them every time they go to the toilet.” 

4. Miley Cyrus and Billy Ray Cyrus. You didn’t forget her bare-in-bed Lolita-esque Vanity Fair pose. “Her daddy is to blame,” declared Ellen of Orlando, Fla. D.G. of Denver felt, “The whole thing with the two of them posing more like a couple than father and daughter was ewwwwwww, sleazy & tacky!! It’s sickening, the way he’s riding her coattails to refresh his career, at any cost.” “I used to really like her, but now I can’t stand her and her huge ego. Go Selena and Demi!” added SamanthaHC on the Internet.

5. Balthazar Getty and Sienna Miller. “What were they thinking, making out with her nearly nude on a beach with paparazzi around? Not only was he married, he’s got four kids. It doesn’t get any tackier,” claimed Ann S., over the Internet. “She acts like a slut and then sues paparazzi over the fact she is a tramp. Sad.” — Dale C., Las Vegas. “Wowza. She doesn’t seem to like wearing tops. She must get a lot of chest colds.” — A.I., Newark

6. Mariah Carey. “Reading about her demanding a private jet, a $15,000 a night penthouse suite and a Michelin-starred chef to appear on the World Music Awards made my blood boil. This kind of outrageous diva behavior was bad enough before, but now that so many people are suffering economically, losing their jobs, unable to pay for their kids’ needs, it’s completely disgusting.” — Nora B., St. Louis, Mo.

7. Lynn Spears. “To exploit your daughter’s personal life to sell your book is beyond tacky. And it’s supposed to be ‘inspirational’ on top of that.” — Bernice, Yonkers, N.Y.

8. Russell Brand, for making fun of the Jonas Brothers’ chastity promise rings on the Video Music Awards. “Even Paris Hilton thought he went too far.” — C.S., Denver

9. Lindsay Lohan. “She is so trashy and tacky, and this incident with her fighting and screaming obscenities at her girlfriend, Samantha Ronson, in a London nightclub is par for the course. Anger management rehab?” — Jay M., Northridge, Calif.

10. John Mayer. “Even though John Mayer and Jennifer Aniston got back together, I thought it was tacky how he kept talking to the press about their breakup. I can’t believe she took him back after that!” — E.F., via email.

And, that’s it for this year. Wishing you all a warm and peaceful holiday, and may all your turkeys be tasty ones!

With reports by Emily Feimster.

To find out more about Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and read their past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2008 MARILYN BECK AND STACY JENEL SMITH

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