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Billy Ray Cyrus Biography

Home > Music > C > Cyrus, Billy Ray > Biography

Birth Name: William Ray Cyrus
Born: 1961/08/25
Birth Place: Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Years Active: 1980–present
Genres: Country Pop

William “Billy” Ray Cyrus was born on August 25, 1961 in Flatwoods, Kentucky, and is a country music singer, songwriter, and actor. Cyrus is best known for his international hit, “Achy Breaky Heart,” which garnered a triple platinum status in Australia. The video for the hit song featured traditional line-dancing, which incited a world-wide craze at the height of Cyrus' success. Cyrus was raised in and around music, his grandfather was a preacher, and Cyrus was first exposed to Gospel music in his grandfather's church. His community also introduced bluegrass music to Cyrus and from an early age he took to music; teaching himself to play his father's right-handed guitar even though he is left handed. By the time he graduated college Cyrus was playing with a band in local bars and building a reputation for himself.

Cyrus move to Los Angeles to further his chances at having a career in music and was signed to PolyGram/Mercury in 1990. Cyrus wasted no time getting to work on his debut album, “Some Gave All,” which was released in 1992. The album was an instant hit with fans and critics alike, debuting at #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart, the Billboard 200 Albums chart and the Canadian Country Albums chart. The album spawned four Top 10 hit singles, including “Achy Breaky Heart,” which put Cyrus on the map in the country music community. The album, “Some Gave All,” went on to be certified 9x multi-platinum, and spent 17 weeks in the #1 slot on the Billboard 200, and was the first debut album to ever enter the country charts at #1.

1993 saw Cyrus follow up with his second offering, “It Won't Be the Last.” The album produced four singles; however they didn't make it into the Top 10. Despite the album debuting at #1 on the Country chart, and #3 on the Billboard 200, Cyrus was unable to match the success of its predecessor.

Cyrus spent the next few years touring, releasing a third album in 1994, “Storm in the Heartland,” and 1996's, “Trail of Tears,” which Mercury Records put out. Both albums failed to perform and by 1998, with the release of “Shot Full of Love,” it was clear that Cyrus' popularity was fading.

Cyrus left Mercury Records and signed with Monument Records in 1999. His debut album for Monument, “Southern Rain” appeared in 2000 and was met with warm responses. The album featured five hit singles, including “You Won't Be Lonely Now,” but wasn't enough to get Cyrus back on track. Cyrus took a break from music for a while and focused on acting and other side projects, such as his 2007 appearance on the reality television show, “Dancing with the Stars,” and his reoccurring role on daughter, Miley Cyrus's show, “Hannah Montana.” Billy Ray Cyrus re-emerged later that year with “Home at Last” on Walt Disney Records, which debuted at #3 on the Country chart.

In 2008, Cyrus began to collaborate with fellow musicians, Phil Vassar, Jeffrey Steele and John Waite, calling themselves Brother Clyde. The band put out the album, “Lately” and were well-received by fans. By 2010, Cyrus had quit Brother Clyde and returned to his solo career with the release of “I'm American” in 2011.