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AP: Is it funny to find yourself playing the smarmy attorney Billy?

Cyrus: I’ve never done anything like this. To play a lawyer? I’m usually on the flip side of that. So this is a real stretch for me. The music? It feels right. This music could be part of me. Finding Billy Flynn as a lawyer? That’s why I’m here. I want to become a better actor. I love acting and this looked like a real great opportunity for me to learn. And to be on Broadway? This is like me getting a doctorate as an actor.

AP: You also have a new album, one that celebrates 20 years as a recording artist. What does it sound like?

Cyrus: I tried to touch on all my roots in the album, certainly from the bluegrass to the outlaw country to the other spectrum of rock `n’ roll _ Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. I will say there’s a healthy dose of Southern rock. It leans heavy on the Southern rock and branches out from there.

AP: How do you write music? What comes first, the melody or lyrics?

Cyrus: I write a song completely when I write it. I hear the words and music altogether. But I can’t sit down and write a song. My songs come when I’m dealing with inspiration and desperation colliding. It’s a moment. They come and I hear the words and the music.

AP: Lyrically, will we learn more about your private life?

Cyrus: I’m never going to write Shakespeare, but I don’t have any desire to. That’s not what I do. My songs come as they are. It ain’t nothing fancy but it’s very, very honest. If you want to know me, just listen to the songs I write.

AP: We’re curious about how Miley became engaged. What did Liam do?

Cyrus: He said, `Mr. Cyrus, can I have your daughter’s hand in marriage?’ And I said, `Liam, can I be in your brother’s next movie?’ That’s pretty close to the truth, to be honest with you.

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Online:

http://www.billyraycyrus.com/

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Follow Mark Kennedy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits