Billy Ray and Tish Cyrus, parents of Miley Ray Cyrus, filed for divorce earlier this week in Williamson County, Tennessee, ending their 17-year-old marriage.

Tish and Billy Ray Cyrus

Tish and Billy Ray addressed the divorce with this statement: “As you can imagine, this is a very difficult time for our family. We are trying to work through some personal matters. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers.”

Billy Ray Cyrus is reportedly the party responsible for initiating the separation. He filed the divorce papers on October 26, 2010 at a courthouse in Tennessee.He wants joint custody of their three minor children – Miley Ray (born Destiny Hope), Noah Lindsey, and son Braison Chance.

According to reports, the couple have had problems with their relationship for some time, and this was not seen as a surprise by those close to them. The separation is being blamed on “irreconcilable differences”. This is Billy Ray’s second divorce.

Tish, nee Leticia Finley, married Billy Ray Cyrus back in 1992.  She “secretly” wed Cyrus on married on December 28, 1992 at his home near Nashville against the wishes of his record company who wanted to maintain his image as a single man. He wore blue jeans and a cutup sweat-shirt, she wore a dress over a cat-suit for the ceremony.

The two merged their growing families – her two children Trace and Brandi with his son Christopher. In the intervening years, the couple added three more kids to the mix – Miley, Noah, and Braison – making a busy and bustling home first in Nashville and later relocating to Los Angeles as the result of Miley landing the ‘Hannah Montana’ role.

Billy Ray Cyrus has won numerous awards for his country music singing. He is also a song writer and occasional actor. When people think of country music, Billy Ray Cyrus is one of the first persons that usually comes to mind. He is thought to have been the one that made country music as popular as it is today.

Both Billy Ray and Tish have been instrumental in Miley’s success, serving as managers for the Hannah Montana starlet.

Tish and Miley Ray Cyrus

It appears that Tish prefers to take the backseat role to her husband’s over-the-top stage dad persona.  While Billy Ray has gone Hollywood, Tish has taken on the role of taking care of their children while putting her own career on the back burner.

The Cyrus family...Christopher is not in the photo as he is living with his mother.

The Cyrus soap opera timeline:

1986: Billy Ray married Cindy Smith, a sales representative, whom he had met while performing at a bar in Ironton, Ohio.

26th May 1987: Tish Cyrus (then Leticia Finley), 19, gave birth to daughter Brandi after a fling with a drummer Jerry Lee Lawson. Billy Ray later adopted Brandi who then became known as Brandi Glenn Cyrus. Brandi is now a guitarist in her sister’s band.

Nov 1988: Billy Ray (while married to first wife Cindy) began a four-year affair with Kari Reeves.

24th Feruary 1989: Tish gave birth to son, Trace Dempsey Cyrus. Her boyfriend, Baxter Neal Helson, moved in with her family and wanted to marry Tish. With her mother raising her two children, Tish continued to party and follow various musicians around. Her boyfriend moved out and has not seen his son in 10 years.

October 1991: Though happy for the first few years, the stress of maintaining different schedules eventually took its toll and Billy RayCyrus and Cindy Smith divorced in 1991 amid rumors of Cyrus’s infidelity.

8th April 1992: 22-year-old waitress, Kristen Lucky, gave birth to Billy Ray’s son, Christopher Cody Cyrus. He denied being Christopher’s father until a blood test proved that he was. Christopher lives with his mom near Fort Worth, Texas

Feb 1992: Tish became pregnant by Billy Ray whom she met at a club in fall 1991. She was still living the life of a groupie.

23rd November 1992: Tish gave birth to Destiny Hope who later legally changed her name to Miley Ray Cyrus.

Dec 1992: Tish and Billy Ray got married because Billy’s father, Kentucky State rep Ron Cyrus, thought it was about time.

Aug 1993: One year after Billy Ray’s big hit, “Achy Breaky Heart,” Tish got pregnant with Billy Ray’s son, Braison Chance Cyrus. Braison was born on May 9, 1994.

8th Jauary 2000: Tish gave birth to daughter, Noah Lindsey Cyrus.

17 years of marriage for a celebrity couple practically seems like an eternity but it is finally coming to an end for Tish and Billy. I guess Billy must be experiencing an “achy breaky heart” now.

none