Some Gave All To Baseball
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Billy Ray Cyrus was born on August 25, 1961, in Kentucky. We presume he was born William Raymond Cyrus, but we can’t find documents to confirm. Maybe his folks Ron and Ruth went the casual route a la Harry and Meghan’s Archie and straight-up christened their baby Billy. Look at this man. This man is not a William. He is not a Bill. This man is Billy. You might think he was born to become a particular kind of American country star, but at first, it looked like he was built to become a particular kind of American baseball star. He dropped his baseball scholarship (and his classes or whatever) at Georgetown College after attending a Neil Diamond concert. We want the Billy Ray story to be made into a movie so bad, if only so we can soak in the dramatization of a young Cyrus attending a show by the “Sweet Caroline” hitmaker and being struck by divine inspiration to become a musician.
Achy Breaky Start
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Cyrus lived lean in Los Angeles while pursuing a recording contract. At one point, he even lived in a car. And it wasn’t even his car. It was his neighbour’s car. The struggle paid off. By 1990, he was opening for country queen Reba McEntire and working on his first record.
Billy Ray's Gonna Billy Ray
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It's hard to overstate the sudden and all-consuming success of Cyrus's debut album, 'Some Gave All'. It became a cultural phenomenon in the realm of 'Thriller' or the Spice Girls. Released in 1992, it debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, the Billboard 200, the Canadian Country Albums chart, and the Canadian Albums chart. Cyrus was an international sensation. Here, Cyrus attends a photocall for the induction of his likeness at the Movieland Wax Museum. We imagine the induction ceremony planners asked him to wear something chest-revealing for the occasion so that the public could marvel over his wax statue's accuracy. Maybe they didn't ask him, though. Maybe chest hair-bearing tops were his personal mandate.
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His followup record was released the very next year. 'It Won't Be the Last' featured the Top 40 singles "In the Heart of a Woman", "Somebody New", and "Words By Heart". 1993 also saw Cyrus appearing on Dolly Parton's single, "Romeo". Parton would famously become godmother to Cyrus's daughter, Destiny Hope Cyrus. Born in 1992, she grew up to be Miley.
The Gospel Of Doc
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The five country albums that followed had varying degrees of success, but none could touch the mania inspired by “Achy Breaky Heart”. By 2003, Cyrus took the Kanye route and tried his hand at gospel, releasing ‘The Other Side’ in 2003. More notable that year was his appearance on “Degrassi: The Next Generation”, where he played Duke, a limo driver hired to take Drake’s character to the Bollywood dance. Cyrus also began starring in the TV series ”Doc” that year.
'Country Music Has The Blues'
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In 2006, Cyrus released 'Wanna Be Your Joe', his first country record since 2000. It featured the track "Country Music Has the Blues", a collab with George Jones and Loretta Lynn. The album, which peaked at #24 on the country chart, also included "Stand", a duet with his daughter Miley. Although not released as a single, a video was created for the song, which shows Billy Ray and Miley performing on stage together. The pair had just begun work on a show for the Disney Channel.
Robby Ray Montana
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Starring Miley as a teen living a double life as a famous pop singer and a typical teenager, "Hanna Montana" ran for four seasons on the Disney Channel. Billy Ray played Miley's father and manager Robby Ray. Dolly Parton had a recurring role as Miley's godmother, Aunt Dolly. The show became one of Disney's most popular franchises, with high ratings, hot merchandise, soundtrack albums, and concert tours. It was nominated for four Emmys for Outstanding Children's Program. Miley won a Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a TV Series, Leading Young Actress, in 2008. Soon, she and her fame would outgrow the show.
Line Dancing With The Stars
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In 2007, Cyrus joined the fourth season of "Dancing with the Stars". He's seen here dancing with partner Karina Smirnoff to his single, "I Want My Mullet Back" from 'Wanna Be Your Joe'. What's that in his hand? It's a mullet wig, one of the finest props ever trotted out on the show. Cyrus became a fan favourite and made it to the quarter-finals, where the pair finished in fifth place. Walt Disney Records released his next album, 'Home at Last', in 2007. It debuted at #3 on the country chart, becoming his first Top 5 entry since 'It Won't Be the Last' debuted at #1 in 1993.
In 2009, Cyrus joined the supergroup Brother Clyde. The band initially consisted of country music singer-songwriter Jeffrey Steele, pop singer John Waite, and country singer Phil Vassar but the lineup was changed to feature rockers Jamie Miller, Dan Knight, Dave Henning and Samantha Maloney to adopt an alt-rock flavour. The group's sole, self-titled release peaked at #40 in 2010.
The Second One
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Having established himself in "Doc" as someone who is not a doctor, but who plays one on TV, Cyrus donned the lab coat and stethoscope once more to appear as Doctor Quint in the sci-fi comedy disaster classic, "Sharknado 2: The Second One", starring Ian Ziering and Tara Reid. His character does manage to survive the sharknado, although he couldn't save Reid's hand because it was stuck somewhere in a shark's mouth.
Golden Road Remix
When Lil Nas X's 2018 TikTok hit "Old Town Road" was controversially banished from Billboard's country chart for "not [embracing] enough elements of today's country music," Cyrus stepped in to drop bucketloads of country cred onto the trap crossover hit. The 2019 remix featuring Cyrus dominated charts across the board and around the world. It has sold over 18 million copies worldwide, making it one of the bestselling singles of all time. In addition, Cyrus and Lil Nas X won Song of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2019 (pictured) and picked up two Grammy Awards.
All The Way To The CCMAs
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Hot on the heels of his Lil Nas X collab, Cyrus teamed up with homegrown country singer Dallas Smith to co-host the 2019 CCMAs in Calgary. Cyrus was no stranger to the CCMAs, having won the Top Selling Album award in 1993 for ‘Some Gave All’. On being asked if he ever thought his career would go so far, Cyrus told Global News, “I just love making music, to be honest. I’m trying to think of a fancy answer, but straight up, I just love making music. To this day, I’m still the same.” What’s next for Cyrus? Bluegrass! Look for his new single, “Roll That Rock”, a collab with his cousin Bobby Cyrus and Bobby’s wife Teddi.