Keepin’ it country with Billy Ray Cyrus
Billy Ray Cyrus is the perfect person to advise troubled Justin Bieber on how to handle his crazy fame. A breakout singing phenomenon himself, Billy then helped guide his daughter Miley through the travails of teenage superstardom.
‘ It’s tough for Justin to be that age and in the middle of that rocket ride, one that goes crazy whatever you do,’ he told me. ‘When people love so passionately, there’s always going to be an opposite reaction, too. The bad news, as Kris Kristofferson once said to me, is: “The turkey with the longest neck is always going to be the one everyone’s shooting at.”’
Billy’s new autobiography has a chapter entitled Life Ain’t Fair. ‘That’s because when my parents were divorcing, I asked my dad why everything was so messed up. And he told me, “Son, life ain’t fair, and the sooner you realise that, the better.” ’
The same advice I give my three sons every time they ask me why I compelled them to be Arsenal fans. every dish contains breath-ravaging quantities of garlic — even the icecream. Top moment of a bizarre night (the food is actually really good) came when we donned huge fake garlic hats as waiters sang: ‘Happy Anniversary to you, Happy Anniversary to you, Happy Anniversary, dear stinkies, Happy Anniversary to you.’ Who said romance is dead? The best basketball team on the planet are the Miami Heat, a controversial band of mainly mercenary superstars assembled at huge expense to win championships — which is exactly what they’ve been doing.
Last week, led by the mercurial LeBron James, they lifted the NBA title for the second year in a row. And tonight, I interviewed their power forward Chris Bosh — a 6ft 11in Texan.
Bosh executed one of the critical moments of the series: a wonder rebound from a James miss, with an instant flick to his colleague Ray Allen in the corner — who scored to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in the dying seconds of Game Six.
As one who shot the hoops a bit myself (my school team nickname was ‘ Meadowlark Morgan’ in honour of the Harlem Globetrotter), I wondered what went through their minds in this moment of genius. Bosh laughed. ‘I had two conversations, very short. Ray asked, “How did you get that rebound and see me?” I said I didn’t
Great to see Kenny Rogers rock Glastonbury tonight. He must have spawned more karaoke tributes than anyone bar Elvis and Sinatra, and he recently told me a hilarious story.
‘I was in Vegas,’ he said, ‘and as a joke I went into one of those things where they have the impersonators and I didn’t tell anybody it was me. So I go up on the stage and I’m singing with this girl who looks like Dolly, sang great like Dolly. We did Islands In The Stream and when it was over, this man comes up to me and says, “I’ll tell you one thing, you’re a hell of a lot better than the real guy.”’