That's why it's been so difficult for him to watch the recent events: the infamous video of her smoking the herb salvia from a bong and the 18th birthday party that he refused to attend because it was in a bar.
"I'm scared for her," Billy Ray, 49, tells the March issue of GQ. "She's got a lot of people around her that's putting her in a great deal of danger. I know she's 18, but I still feel like as her daddy I'd like to try to help. Take care of her just a little bit, to at least get her out of danger."
Billy Ray adds, "I want to get her sheltered from the storm. Stop the insanity just for a minute. When you go through what she's been through, it takes a beating on you. And there comes a point where you just got to step back."
But the "Achy Breaky Heart" singer says he feels squeezed out of her life. He reminds people that while he appeared with her on the hit show Hannah Montana, he's not her manager and has no say in her professional life.
"For the record," he says, "to set it straight, I want to tell you: I've never made a dime off of Miley. You got a lot of people have made percentages off of her. I'm proud to say to this day I've never made one commissioned dollar, or dime, off of my daughter."
Billy Ray blames the problems on bad advice given to Miley by her handlers and the pressures of the Disney Channel show, particularly the shooting of the final episodes in January 2010. By the fall, Billy Ray would be in divorce proceedings with Miley's mother, Tish Cyrus.
"The damn show destroyed my family," he says. "And I sit there and go, 'Yeah, you know what? Some gave all.' It is my motto, and guess what? I have to eat that one. I some-gave-all'd it all right. I some-gave-all'd it while everybody else was going to the bank. It's all sad."