A “Dancing With the Stars” cast member is mourning a heartbreaking loss this week. Singer Billy Ray Cyrus lost his mom, Ruth Ann Casto. Following her death, the country star penned a lovely tribute to her on Instagram.
Here’s what you need to know:
Cyrus Said His Mom ‘Earned’ Her Trip to Heaven
On Instagram, the country music star posted a silly photo of his mom holding up a Snoopy T-shirt and wrote, “My mom went to heaven today. She belongs there. She earned it. She was the very definition of love.”
In the comments, his famous friends posted messages of love and condolences.
“Love ya, pal,” wrote fellow country star Dierks Bentley.
Actor Dave Osokow wrote, “Sending love and strength to you and the family, papaw!”
“I am so sorry for your loss. Sending you my love,” wrote actor Leslie Jordan.
On Mother’s Day 2022, Cyrus posted a tribute video to his mom and wrote, “Happy Mother’s Day, mom. I was born lucky to be your son.”
In 2012, Casto was hospitalized in “critical” condition, according to some since-deleted tweets by Cyrus (via The Boot).
“Please say a prayer for my Mom ‘Ruthie.’ She is in critical care at the hospital this morning. On my way to be with her. God Bless You All,” wrote Cyrus.
Cyrus later thanked his fans for their support and said they were “not out of the woods yet,” but Casto must have pulled through alright because she went on to live another 10 years.
In a 2020 interview with “Entertainment Tonight,” Cyrus said that the pandemic quarantine was “tough on everybody,” but it did allow for some wonderful family time for them, with daughter Miley Cyrus visiting her grandma Ruthie for her birthday.
“It’s been crazy tough. It’s been tough on everybody. All of a sudden you find this point where time doesn’t even matter,” said Cyrus, adding, “I got to see Miley a great amount of time. We even spent my mother’s birthday together. My mom got a picnic table. Miley coming over, breaking bread on her new picnic table on [my mom’s] birthday kind of brought everything full circle.”
Cyrus’ Parents Divorced When He Was 5
According to a biography about singer and actress Miley Cyrus, the daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus and granddaughter of Casto, Billy Ray Cyrus was born to Ruth Ann and Ron Cyrus in 1961, but they divorced when he was five years old and both later remarried.
Ron Cyrus was originally a steelworker but later became a politician. Ruth Ann, known as “Ruthie” to her family, used to play music with her father. The biography says she “could sing and play the piano by ear.”
In an interesting coincidence, it’s possible the writers of “Hannah Montana” gave Miley’s real-life grandma a nod when they wrote the character of Mamaw Ruthie, who was Hannah’s paternal grandmother on the show. Billy Ray played her dad on the series, so Mamaw Ruthie was his mom on the show. Mamaw Ruthie was played by Vicki Lawrence on the series.
Billy Ray Cyrus finished in fifth place on “Dancing With the Stars” season four with his partner Karina Smirnoff.
“Dancing With the Stars” returns for its 31st season on Monday, September 19, on Disney Plus.