Let's face it, this past year hasn't been one that Billy Ray Cyrus is going to look back on fondly.

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His marriage was on the rocks, his career was almost non-existent, and his daughter Miley had some, well, interesting videos hit the public.  Whether she was trying to "adultify" her videos, or was taped smoking a "water pipe," she wasn't up for daughter of the year.

But, then again, Billy wasn't going to win father of the year either.  And he's the first to admit it.

Billy Ray is quoted by the Associated Press as saying he's been through a lot.  But he's also sure that the vast majority of fans can relate.  He's sure most people can look at his life and think,

"That guy's kind of like us:  peaks and valley; ups and downs."  He went on to add, "It's not about how many times you get knowcked down, it's about how many times you get back up."

Well, that's certainly true.  And, really, no one hopes for his seeing better times more than I do.  He has taken a big step forward with the release of his latest album, I'm American".  The CD is out today and hopefully better days for the Cyrus clan are on the horizon.