Billy Ray Cyrus
Billy Ray Cyrus on Hannah Montana
Background information
Birth name William Ray Cyrus
Born August 25, 1961 (1961-08-25) (age 58

Flatwoods, Kentucky, U.S.

Origin Nashville, Tennessee]], U.S.
Genre(s) Country pop
Occupation(s) Singer-Songwriter, Actor, Producer
Instrument(s) Vocals, Guitar, Piano
Years active 1990 — present
Associated acts Miley Cyrus
Website Official site

Billy Ray Cyrus (born August 25, 1961) is a Grammy Award-nominated American country music singer, songwriter and actor, best known for his #1 single "Achy Breaky Heart."

Cyrus, a multi-platinum selling recording artist, has scored a total of eight top-ten singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. His most successful album to date is the debut of Some Gave All, which has been certified 9× Multi-Platinum in the United States and is the longest time spent by debut artist at #1 on the Billboard 2000 (17 consecutive weeks).


Early life

Cyrus was born William Ray Cyrusin Flatwoods, Kentucky to Ron Cyrus, a politician, and his wife, the former Ruth Ann Casto.

Growing up, he was surrounded by bluegrass and gospel music from his family. His father, a right-handed man, played guitar. Billy Ray on the other hand was a lefty. He tried to play his father's guitar, but could never learn. His grandfather was a Pentecostal preacher. Cyrus went to college at Georgetown College on a baseball scholarship before switching his focus to music. From 1980 to 1990, Cyrus played at bars before getting a record deal with Mercury Nashville Records.

Acting career

Cyrus starred in the 1999 independent film Radical Jack. He also had a small part in David Lynch's 2001 film Mulholland Drive as Gene, a pool cleaner who had been having an affair with the wife of Adam Kesher (Justin Theroux). In 2001, Cyrus played the lead role on the PAX (now ION Television) comedy-drama Doc, which became the network's highest-rated show. In 2005, Cyrus expanded his acting career in a stage production of Annie Get Your Gun in Toronto, appearing in the role of Frank Butler.

Cyrus' television credits include The Nanny, Diagnosis Murder, Love Boat, The Next Wave, and TNN’s 18 Wheels Of Justice. In 2004, he guest-starred as a limo driver in the episode "The Power of Love" of the Canadian teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation. Cyrus has also been the subject of many television specials that detail his rise to fame and his career. These include two ABC documentaries, Dreams Come True and A Year On The Road, a VH1 exclusive, as well as the TNN specials I Give My Heart To You, and The Life and Times of Billy Ray Cyrus. In late 2005, Cyrus and his daughter Miley Cyrus began co-starring in the Disney Channel original television series, Hannah Montana, which premiered on March 24, 2006.

In March 2007, Cyrus joined several other celebrities to take part in the fourth season of the US version of Dancing with the Stars.[1] He and his partner Karina Smirnoff, were eliminated in the eighth week (May 8, 2007) after having also placed in the "bottom two" the week before.[2]

Cyrus also stars in Jackie Chan's new movie The Spy Next Door. It was shot in Albuquerque, New Mexico and filming ended in late December.

Marriage and children

From 1986–91, Cyrus was married to Cindy Smith, with whom he co-wrote the song "Wher'm I Gonna Live?" and "Some Gave All", which was featured on his 1992 album Some Gave All. On December 28, 1992, he married Leticia "Tish" Finley.[3][4][5] Together they have three children, daughters Miley Ray (born Destiny Hope), Noah Lindsey, and son Braison Chance.[4] He also has two adopted stepchildren, Trace (born 1989) (singer/guitarist for Metro Station) and Brandi (born 1987),[4] and he also has one son from a previous relationship, Christopher Cody (born 1992).[4] Cyrus adopted Brandi and Trace when they were young children.[6]

In a 2004 interview on ABC News: 'Primetime', Cyrus stated that daughter Miley (conceived with Finley) and son Cody (conceived with an unidentified woman) were both born in 1992, at which time Cyrus was unmarried, and that he and Finley secretly married on December 28, 1992.[5]

The family lived on a Template:Convert farm in Thompson's Station,[4][3] outside of Nashville, Tennessee before moving to Los Angeles for the filming of Hannah Montana. Cyrus' other daughter Brandi had a role in a Hannah Montana episode "Yet Another Side of Me" as Customer #1.[7]

Music career

The Mercury Records years

While trying to get a recording contract in Los Angeles, Cyrus was referred to as "too country" for LA, and "too rock" for Nashville. However, in 1990, he was signed to PolyGram/Mercury. Cyrus began to record and write music for his debut album, released in 1992.

Some Gave All was released in 1992. The album became an instant chart and sales successor. It debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums, Billboard 200, Canadian Country Albums chart, Canadian Albums Chart, and several other foreign countries. The album featured four consecutive Top 40 singles on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart from 1992 to 1993; including an album cut, the title track. The most successful single released was "Achy Breaky Heart". It reached #1 on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart and was also a hit on the pop charts, where it reached #4. Although the song was the only number one single, "Could've Been Me" reached #2, "Wher'm I Gonna Live?" reached #23, and "She's Not Cryin' Anymore" reached #6.

Some Gave All was certified 9× Multi-Platinum in the United States in 1996, and has sold over 20 million copies worldwide.

In 1993, Cyrus and Mercury Records quickly released Cyrus' second studio album, It Won't Be the Last. The album featured four singles, however, only three made the Top 40. The album debuted at #1 on the Country charts, and #3 on the Billboard 200. By the end of the year, It Won't Be the Last was certified Platinum by the RIAA. The highest charting single, the lead-off single, "In the Heart of a Woman", charted to #3, with "Somebody New" charting to #9, "Words By Heart" at #12, and "Talk Some" at #63.

Cyrus' fourth studio album, Storm in the Heartland, was released in 1994. The album was his final album he recorded for PolyGram, as they closed their doors in 1995. The album wasn't as successful as its preceders. It only reached #11 on the Country albums chart, and only the title track made the Top 40 of the Country singles chart. "Deja Blue" was the second single released, however, it only managed to chart to #66, and the third and final single, "One Last Thrill", failed to chart at all.

The album only managed to be certified Gold in the U.S. Before Cyrus started on his next album, he was transferred to Mercury Nashville.

File:Billy Ray Cyrus Tour.jpg

Cyrus' most critically acclaimed album was 1996's, Trail of Tears on Mercury Records. The album debuted at #20 on the Country chart when released. Only two songs made the cut to radio, although neither one hit the Top 60. The title track and "Three Little Words" were released reaching #69, and #65 respectively. The album failed to reach any certification, and was on and off the charts after only four weeks.

Mercury Nashville released Shot Full of Love in 1998. The album became his lowest-peaking album, debuting at #32. The first single, "Under the Hood", failed to chart, "Time for Letting Go" hit #70, "Busy Man" charted #3, and "I Give My Heart to You" reached #41. After the single fell from the charts, Cyrus left Mercury's roster and signed with Monument Records in 1999.

His debut album for Monument, Southern Rain, was released in 2000. It debuted at #13 on the Country albums chart and #102 on the Billboard 200. Five singles were released and all five charted. The lead-off single, "You Won't Be Lonely Now", was the highest peaking single from the album, charting to #17. Other singles include "We the People" (#60), "Burn Down the Trailer Park" (#43), "Crazy 'Bout You Baby" (#58), and the title track (#45).

Move to Christian music

After the singles from Southern Rain finished their chart runs, Cyrus began to record two Christian albums. Both albums, Time Flies and The Other Side, were released in 2003. The first album debuted and peaked at a low #56 on the Country album charts. Three singles were released, however, only the final single charted. "Bread Alone", "What Else Is There", and "Back to Memphis" were released, where "Back to Memphis" charted to #60.

The second Christian album, The Other Side, was recorded while Cyrus filmed his PAX series, Doc. It debuted at #5 on the Top Christian Albums chart, #18 Top Country Albums, and #131 on Billboard 200. Two of three singles charted, "Face of God" (#54) and "The Other Side" (#45), while "Always Sixteen" failed to chart at all.

Disney Entertainment


The album Wanna Be Your Joe was Billy Ray's first country album since 2000s Southern Rain. As it preceding albums, it too, was recorded on a new record label; New Door/UMe Records. It was released while Cyrus was filming the show Hannah Montana. Wanna Be Your Joe made it to #24 on the Country charts and #113 on the all-genre charts. The album initally sold well, but no hit-single was released. The only single released to radio was the albums title track, which was ignored by country radio. Although not released, a music video was made for the tracks "I Want My Mullet Back" and "Stand", a duet with daughter Miley Cyrus.

Also in 2006, Billy Ray appeared with metal-rock group, Metal Skool, and performed several songs including "Rebel Yell" by Billy Idol, and the song "I Want My Mullet Back", which appears on Wanna Be Your Joe.[8]

He also sang "The Star Spangled Banner" at Game 5 of the 2006 World Series in St. Louis, Missouri.

Career re-launch

In mid-2007, Cyrus was a celebrity contestant on the 4th season of the show Dancing with the Stars. Cyrus was partnered with Karina Smirnoff. As the show began to air, Cyrus was instantly a fan favorite. Cyrus and Smirnoff made it to the semi-finals where they finished in 5th place.

From his exposure on Dancing with the Stars and Hannah Montana, his record label pushed up the release date a month in advance of his new album. Home at Last was released in July 2007 on Walt Disney Records. It debuted at #3 on the country charts, making it Cyrus' first Top 5 entry since It Won't Be the Last debuted at #1 in 1993. Beginning sales for the album were very strong, however, the album failed to be certified. The single, "Ready, Set, Don't Go", was initially released as a solo single. The solo version made it to #33 on the Hot Country Songs chart.

In October 2007, Cyrus and daughter Miley Cyrus, performed a duet version of the song on Dancing with the Stars. The duet of the song debuted at #27 on the Country charts and eventually peaked at #4 in 2008; giving Billy Ray his first Top 5 single since "Busy Man" in 1999, as well as Miley's first Top 5 on any Billboard chart.

Cyrus was a part of the Disney collection, Country Sings Disneyin 2008. Two of his songs, "Ready, Set, Don't Go" and the Sheryl Crow penned song, "Real Gone" appeared on the album. Billy Ray's version of "Real Gone" was also made into a music video that is in rotation on both CMT and GAC; the song also appears on Back to Tennessee.

In late-2008, his website confirmed that a new studio album would be released by the end of the year from Lyric Street Records, entitled Back to Tennessee. The album was originally planned to be released on October 21, 2008, but was pushed back to November 18. When the album wasn't released, it was announced for a January 13, 2009 release[9]. The first single, "Somebody Said a Prayer", debuted at #53 in August 2008 and reached #33 in November of that year. On March 14, 2009, the albums title track debuted at #59 on the country singles chart and a month later on April 7, Back to Tennessee was released. The song only charted to #47 after 11 weeks. A third single, "A Good Day", will be released July 21, 2009.

It was less successful in its first week out as Home at Last. It only reached #13 on the charts and only sold approximately 14,000 copies in its opening week. The albums release date coincided with the release of Hannah Montana: The Movie. The song "Back to Tennessee" was included on the movies soundtrack, as well as a duet with Miley Cyrus, entitled "Butterfly Fly Away". The latter song would chart #56 and #50 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Canadian Hot 100, respectively.

On November 12, 2008, Billy Ray and Miley presented the "Song of the Year" award at the 42nd Annual Country Music Association Awards. Prior to the award show, both Billy Ray and Miley performed on Good Morning America. In December 2008, Cyrus made a cameo in Metro Station's video, "Seventeen Forever".[10]



Year Association Award[11][12][13]
1992 CMA Awards Single of the Year - "Achy Breaky Heart"
Billboard Music Awards Most weeks at #1 Album, Some Gave All
Billboard Video Music Awards Best Male Artist, Country, "Achy Breaky Heart"
Best New Artist, Country, "Achy Breaky Heart"
AMOA Jukebox Awards Pop Record of the Year, "Achy Breaky Heart"
Country Record of the Year, "Achy Breaky Heart"
Rising Star Award
National Association of Recording Merchandisers Record of the Year, New Artist
Record of the Year, Country Male
Record of the Year, Male
Record of the Year, Overall
Country Music Television Most Popular Music Video, "Achy Breaky Heart"
JUNO Awards Best Selling Single, "Achy Breaky Heart"
R&R Readers Pool Best New Artist
People Magazine One of the Most Intriguing People of the Year 1992
1993 American Music Awards Favorite Country New Artist
Favorite Single - "Achy Breaky Heart"
Country Music Television #6 on Top 10 Video List, "In the Heart of a Woman"
Canadian Country Music Awards Best Selling Album (foreign or domestic), Some Gave All
1994 Billboard 100th Anniversary Awards 16th Best Selling Album of all time, Some Gave All
Childhelp USA Humanitarium Award
1995 Berkley Popular Cultural Society's Innovator Award University of California
State of South Carolina Humanitarium Award
Congressional Medal of Honor Society's Bob Hope Award
Country Music Cares
1996 Country Radio Seminar Humanitarium Award
The VFW Hall of Fame Award
1997 TNN/Music City News Single of the Year - "Trail of Tears"
Modern Screen Country Music Magazine Entertainer and Male Artist
Air Force Sergeant Award Americanism Award
1998 TNN/Music City News Single of the Year - "Busy Man"
Album of the Year - Shot Full of Love
Song of the Year - "Busy Man"
Video of the Year - "Busy Man"
Male Artist of the Year
Modern Screen Country Music Magazine Entertainer and Male Artist
1999 Modern Screen Country Music Magazine Entertainer and Male Artist
Entertainment Buyers Association
Humanitarium of the Year
Music Row's Magazine's "Video of the Year" for "Give My Heart to You"
2000 Country Radio Broadcasters
Kennedy Center Honors
2002 Bob Hope Congressional Medal of Honor Society Entertainer of the Year
2008 BMI Songwriter of the Year Top 50 Most Played Songs of 2008


Year Association Award[14][15][16][17][18][19]
1992 CMA Awards Song of the Year - "Achy Breaky Heart"
1993 American Music Awards Favorite Country Male Artist
Grammy Awards Record of the Year - "Achy Breaky Heart"
Best New Artist
Best Country Vocal Performance, Male - "Achy Breaky Heart"
1994 Grammy Awards Best Country Vocal Collaboration - "Romeo" (with Dolly Parton, Tanya Tucker,
Billy Ray Cyrus, Kathy Mattea, Pam Tillis and Mary Chapin Carpenter)
2005 Grace Awards Most Inspiring Television Acting for "Doc" in episode "Happy Trails"
2008 CMT Music Awards Tearjerker Video of the Year - "Ready, Set, Don't Go"
2009 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Parental Unit for "Hannah Montana"

"Achy Breaky Heart" was nominated also in Song of the Year and Best Country Song for songwriter Don Von Tress at the Grammy Awards in 1993.


For a list of albums and singles, see Billy Ray Cyrus discography.
Studio albums
Compilation albums


Year Film Role Notes
2001 Radical Jack Jack
2002 Mulholland Drive Gene
Wish You Were Dead Dean Longo
2004 Death and Texas Spoade Perkins
Elvis Has Left the Building Hank
2008 Bait Shop Hot Rod Johnson
Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Himself
2009 Flying By George Barron
Hannah Montana: The Movie Robby Ray Stewart
2010 The Spy Next Door TBA upcoming film
Year Film Role Notes
1995 The Nanny Himself 1 episode; "A Kiss Is Just a Kiss"
1997 Diagnosis Murder 1 episode; "Murder, Country Style"
1999 The Love Boat: The Next Wave Lasso Larry Larsen 1 episode; "Divorce, Downbeat and Distemper"
2000 18 Wheels of Justice Henry Conners 1 episode; "Games of Chance"
2001 Doc Dr. Clint Cassidy 88 episodes; 2001-2004
2002 Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye 1 episode; "Pilot"
2003 Degrassi: The Next Generation Lime Drive, Duke 1 episode; "The Power of Love"
2006 Hannah Montana Robby Ray Stewart 65 episodes; 2006-present
2007 Billy Ray Cyrus: Home at Last Himself 4 episodes; aired on CMT
Dancing with the Stars 17 episodes; finished in 5th place
2008 Hillbilly: The Real Story hosted special on the History Channel
2008 CMT Music Awards co-hosted with Miley Cyrus
Nashville Star co-hosted with Katie Cook
Phineas and Ferb Buck Buckerson 1 episode; "It's a Mud, Mud, Mud, Mud World"
Studio DC: Almost Live Himself performed "Ready, Set, Don't Go"
2009 Hannah Montana: The Movie - Behind the Scenes hosted special on GAC

See also


Further reading

  • Kingsbury, Paul. (1998). "Billy Ray Cyrus". In The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Paul Kingsbury, Editor. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 123-4.


  1. unknown (February 20, 2007). "Meet the New Cast of 'Dancing With the Stars". Dancing with the Stars. Retrieved on 2007-02-21. 
  2. "Singer Cyrus booted off dance show". Retrieved on 2007-05-09.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Billy Ray Cyrus (Dr. Clint Cassidy)". "Doc" Cast Bios. I (TV network). Retrieved on 2006-10-07.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 ""BILLY RAY CYRUS - Bio"". Retrieved on 2006-10-29. “Children: Destiny Hope, Braison Chance, Noah Lindsey, with Tish; Christopher Cody, from a previous relationshiwhatp; and stepchildren Brandi, and Trace.”Template:Dead link
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Once a Country Superstar, He Got Out of the Spotlight for Fatherhood". (2004-03-13). Retrieved on 2007-08-14. “Cyrus pledged to support the woman who was carrying his first baby. And against his record company's advice, he secretly married Finley on Dec. 28 1992. Finley gave birth to Cyrus' daughter, Miley. The other woman had his son, Cody.”
  6. Michelle Tan (July 2, 2007). "My Girl". People Magazine. Retrieved on 2009-01-01. “Tish's kids from a previous relationship, Brandi, 20, and Trace, 18, whom Billy Ray adopted as tots”
  7. Steinberg, Jacques (2006-04-20). "Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: A Tale of Two Tweens" (in English). The New York Times. Retrieved on 2006-10-29. 
  8. Billy Ray & Metal Skool
  9. "Back to Tennessee" now in stores 1/13/09
  10. "Seventeen Forever" official video
  11. About Billy Ray Cyrus
  12. American Music Awards 1993
  13. Billy Ray Cyrus and Casey Beathard receive BMI Award
  14. American Music Awards 1993
  15. Grammy Awards 1993
  16. Grammy Awards 1994
  17. Billy Ray Cyrus Movie Guide Awards
  18. Billy Ray Cyrus nominee in CMT Awards
  19. Billy Ray Cyrus official blog

External links

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