Robby is a widower and father of Jackson and Miley. He gave up his career as the famous singer Robby Ray, named after Billy Ray Cyrus, who plays him, so he could take care of his children after his wife died. He is Hannah Montana's dad and manager/producer when Miley is on stage performing as Hannah Montana, and he writes most of Hannah's songs. When he is Hannah's manager, he wears a mustache to cover up his identity from people who might recognize him as Miley Stewart's dad. In each episode, he typically gives his daughter advice, often utilizing reverse psychology. He is fond of sugar; in some episodes, he has to run a mile or so to treat himself for a slice of cake and he has constantly talked to Jackson about what sugar does to him. His favorite catch phrase is "Say What?" Contrary to popular belief, no one knows when he will remarry.
Robby Ray and Billy Ray
Robby Ray is loosely based on Cyrus himself. Before Miley's birth he was a very famous country singer, but walked away from his career after the death of his wife, the cause of which has yet to be revealed. He or others in the show frequently refer to his real life career. The character occasionally refers to Cyrus' own songs, such as in the episode "Ooh, Ooh, Itchy Woman", when he asks, "Linda, you know 'Achy Breaky Heart'?" and also, in the episode "It's a Mannequin's World," when he does the limbo, cracks his back, and says, "Oh, my Achy Breaky Back!" In the episode "Get Down, Study-udy-udy," Robby teaches Thor's parrot, Snowball, songs like "I Want My Mullet Back" and "Wanna Be Your Joe". During the crossover episode "That's So Suite Life of Hannah Montana" he performs Cyrus' song "I Want My Mullet Back", from Wanna Be Your Joe. In "Torn Between Two Hannahs" he sings "Stand", also from Wanna Be Your Joe, with Miley while Oliver and Lilly watch. In another episode of Hannah Montana, he did a perfect impersonation Billy Ray Cyrus even though he just wears a mullet wig.
References to Cyrus' other TV roles
The characters on the show also refer to Cyrus' television appearances. For example, in the episode "I Am Hannah, Hear Me Croak," Robby's son Jackson says that his dad would know a good doctor, a reference to Cyrus' former show Doc, and in the episode "My Best Friend's Boyfriend" he complained about all of the dancing shows on television, while Cyrus appeared on the fourth season of Dancing with the Stars, and in "Everybody Was Best Friend Fighting," at the end a fortune teller, who was Billy Ray's dance partner in Dancing with the Stars, read his palm saying he would be dancing in front of many people. Robby replies by saying he's not much of a dancer, and the fortune teller says she can see that too. On one occasion, in the episode "New Kid in School," he even wears a mullet wig and introduces himself as Billy Ray Cyrus. Another reference to Docis Robby's line "Good night, Nurse Nichol" (from "Achy Jakey Heart, Part Two"). Nurse Nancy Nichol was a main character in the series, as well as the love interest of Dr. Clint Cassidy (played by Billy Ray), and, at the end of the series, Clint's wife. Also in the episode "Sleepwalk This Way" he says "1, 2 cha- cha- cha and Mother I pulled the mullet but it just wouldn't come off" a reference to Dancing with the Stars. Also in the episode "A New Kid in School", Miley says at the end "Elvis has left the building!", a reference to the movie with the same name in which Billy Ray starred.
Robby and Miley
Robby has trouble accepting the fact that his daughter is no longer a child like she used to be, and is growing up to face the world as an adult. He constantly (but not always) causes trouble or in any way, disrupts Miley's
Miley and her dad dates, the most noticeable examples coming from the 2-part episode "Achy Jakey Heart" and "I Can't Make You Love Hannah If You Don't." It could mean that he is not ready to see his daughter kiss a boy or have a romantic relationship, and therefore mature into an adult, or near-adult. The fact that he is overprotective further proves that he fears for Miley's security, even though she justifies herself that she is able to take care of herself many times. In other words, he occasionally believes that Miley is too "young" or "immature" to take care of herself and become an adult; "not ready yet" is a better choice of words. This could possibly be a result of his wife's death, resulting in him not wanting to lose his children as well.
In the episode "It's a Mannequin's World," he spots a jacket (with Lilly's help) which he is certain will please Miley indefinitely. In the end, however, he buys not only a childish and stupid sweater for his daughter, but claims loudly, "Do I know my daughter or what!?" Miley is obviously unhappy, and tries to find a way to ruin it, just like 2 dresses from 2 birthdays in the past. She attempts to hide the fact from her father that the sweater is going to turn her into a laughing stock, and therefore she hates it, but in the end, Robby finds out. He is next seen sitting on the patio, and reveals subsequently to Miley that he wants to hold on to his "little girl". The psychological reason to why he buys her the sweater is because the sweater is childish, just like the child Miley he once knew and wants to hold on to. He once again finds it hard that his daughter is growing up, and maturing can be expressed in the way a person dresses; therefore, for three consecutive birthdays, Miley receives outfits that are meant for young children from Robby.
Perhaps the most obvious part about Robby's unwillingness to let Miley go is in the episode "I Want You to Want Me…to Go to Florida." When Miley asks her father to grant her permission to go to Florida with Roxy as her chaperon, Robby bluntly refuses, claiming that she "is not ready to do it by herself". This act of refusal leads to the first time father and daughter have ever argued full-bloodedly on the show, and the subsequent "I HATE YOU!" from Miley to her father. Robby even tries to stop his Miley taking off from Malibu by intercepting her on the plane, until they realize it is too late to alight. Robby then turns and says, "Miley Stewart. I have never been so disappointed in you." It was after Jackson says, "She wasn't ready...or you weren't?" and subsequently questions him why is he contradicting what he said to them about "Get ready, get set, go" when Robby discovers that due to his unwillingness to let go and watch his daughter fly solo (not literally), he cooped her up and tried to prevent her from taking flight. Bringing Miley and him together and engaging in a private talk, Robby sings his newly-written song titled "Ready, Set, Don't Go" which tells of how he tries to accept the fact that Miley will soon be leaving him and therefore relieving him of his duties as a father, while hiding from her that his heart is broken. He admits that "no Dad ever wants to see his little girl grow up. Every Dad know that someday she has to." It would seem that despite the difficulty of doing so, Robby finally chooses to let Miley go and watch her soar on her own. He gives her permission to go to Florida with Roxy, but otherwise on her own, without his "protection". It would seem that this part is the climax of the episode, telling about how Robby struggles with himself regarding Miley being poised to leave his side as an adult, before acceptance and letting her choose her own destiny.
The song itself, written by Billy Ray Cyrus, supposedly dedicated to his daughter Miley Cyrus, has meaningful lyrics that form the base of the possibly much of the episode "I Want You to Want Me…to Go to Florida." Nevertheless, Robby releases Miley from his protective arms at the end of the episode. It is still unclear whether he will have second thoughts about letting Miley go in the future, but this episode is clearly a milestone in his relationship with Miley, his loving growing and maturing daughter.
- Has a twin brother, Bobby Bay Stewart.
- He is left handed.
- He competes with Jackson in pulling practical jokes, and with sports. He even feuds with his neighbor, Mr. Dontzig. (Paul Vogt).
- Raised in a family with eight kids and one outhouse, he is extremely reluctant to let anyone use his personal bathroom.
- He often talks about Miley's Uncle Earl who does weird things.
- Built his muscles as a youth by lifting cows, or when raining, his sister-in-law Pearl.
- He has a tendency to fix a drink called Loco Hot Cocoa which leads to strange dreams.
- In "Sleepwalk This Way," Robby says in his sleep, "1, 2, Cha-cha-cha...I tried to mother, but the mullet wouldn't come off!" referring to his first performance on Dancing with the Stars. Likewise, in the episode "My Best Friend's Boyfriend," Miley mentions how much he misses race car season, and he declares "the only thing on now are those stupid dance shows".
- His Street Diamond as Robby Ray "The Honkytonk Hearthrob" (in front of the Chinese Theatre) is one of the most photographed.
- He begins to put on weight during series 4, having a noticeable gut at the end of "Hannah Montana to the Principal's Office."
- In series 4, he is dating Lori the, school nurse in Lilly and Miley's high school in California Screaming.
- He loves muffins.