Billy Ray Cyrus Biography

Billy Ray Cyrus is an American country singer-songwriter and actor, who earned great fame and success with his very first album ‘Some Gave All’. This biography offers information on his childhood, career, achievements and timeline.

Billy Ray Cyrus
Quick Facts

Birthday: August 25, 1961

Nationality: American

Famous: Quotes By Billy Ray Cyrus Country Singers

Age: 57 Years, 57 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Virgo

Born in: Flatwoods, Kentucky, U.S.

Famous as: American singer-songwriter

Height: 6'0" (183 cm), 6'0" Males


Spouse/Ex-: Cindy Smith, Leticia

father: Ron Cyrus

mother: Ruth Ann Casto

children: Braison Chance, Miley Ray, Noah Lindsey

U.S. State: Kentucky

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Any follower of country music would have heard the name of Billy Ray Cyrus. This talent from Tennessee struck gold with his very first album. However, he had to go through a fair share of struggles and rejections before making it to the top. Initially interested in baseball, he started learning the guitar at the age of twenty and he was confident enough to drop out of college in order to pursue a career in music. After refining his skills and furthering his reputation by performing in local clubs, his opening act for the iconic country singer Reba McEntire got him his first recording contract. Soon, his debut album followed, which propelled him into instant stardom. His intermingling of country music with rock, coupled with his singing, his on-stage charisma and his good looks made him the toast of the nation. However, the album’s success also led to sky-high expectations from his subsequent albums, which he couldn’t live up to. With his music career on a downward spiral, Cyrus smartly turned his focus to acting and was cast in a TV show, ‘Doc’. He has been alternating between making music and acting ever since. In an industry where excesses are the order of the day, Cyrus has retained his humility and morals and continues to be an inspiration to several aspiring musicians.

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Billy Ray Cyrus
Childhood & Early Life:
  • Billy Ray Cyrus was born as William Ray Cyrus in Flatwoods, Kentucky to politician Ron Cyrus and Ruth Ann Casto. He was much influenced by his grandfather, who introduced him to gospel and bluegrass music.
  • His father could play the guitar and his mother the piano and his grandfather used to play the fiddle. The musical environment at home had a great influence on him and he began singing from a young age of four. He tried playing his father’s guitar but being left-handed he found it difficult.
  • He earned a baseball scholarship to study at ‘Georgetown College’. He formed the band ‘Sly Dog’ with his brother and they were hired as a house band for a club in Ohio. Soon, Cyrus dropped out of college to pursue music full-time.
  • In 1984, a fire burnt down the club where Cyrus was performing and all his music equipments were also destroyed. The same year, he relocated to Los Angeles, hoping to secure a recording contract, but was unsuccessful in his attempts and soon returned to Kentucky.
  • He performed as often as he could in Nashville, gradually honing his skills. He was noticed by country singer Del Reeve, who introduced him to the supervisors at ‘Mercury Records’. Producer Harold Shedd of Mercury Records was impressed by Cyrus’s opening for famous country singer Reba McEntire, and immediately signed him up.
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  • In 1992, Cyrus released his debut album, ‘Some Gave All’ which was an immense commercial success and sold more than twenty million copies worldwide.
  • In 1993, he released his second album‘It Won't Be the Last’, comprising four singles, all of which achieved moderate success. He began touring during this time and the next year, he released his third album ‘Storm in the Heartland’, which did not do well commercially.
  • In 1996, with his popularity having reduced considerably, he released his fourth album, ‘Trail of Tears’. Although praised by critics, the album was again a commercial failure.
  • In 1998, after yet another unsuccessful album, ‘Shot Full of Love’, Cyrus ended his association with ‘Mercury Records’ and signed up with ‘Monument Records’ the next year.
  • In 2000, he released his first album with ‘Monument Records’ and fifth overall. Titled ‘Southern Rain’, the album fared better than his last few efforts, but still wasn’t a major success.
  • With his music career not taking-off, Cyrus turned to acting and appeared in one episode of the TV show ‘The Love Boat: The Next Wave’ in 1999. Two years later, he acted in his first film as well, an independent film titled ‘Radical Jack’.
  • In 2001, he got cast as a regular in the medical family drama ‘Doc’, which gained popularity with the viewers and ran for five seasons. Since then, he has made guest appearances for a few TV shows, also hosting the reality show ‘Nashville Stars’.
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  • In 2003, he marked his return to music by releasing two Christian albums, ‘Time Flies’ and ‘The Other Side’, drawing from his childhood experiences with gospel music.
  • From 2006 to 2012, Cyrus released five more albums with different labels. Among these, ‘Home at Last’ is the most successful one, reaching number 3 on the ‘U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums’ chart.
  • From 2006, he featured as a regular in the popular musical comedy TV series ‘Hannah Montana’, in which his daughter Miley Cyrus played the lead. He was also a part of the cast of a spin-off film titled ‘Hannah Montana: The Movie’. The film was commercially successful, grossing more than 155 million at the box-office.
  • He was a contestant in the reality dance show ‘Dancing with the Stars’ in 2007, where he had a good run and finally finished at fifth place.
  • In 2009, he formed an alternative rock band called ‘Brother Clyde’ with three other musicians. After replacing all the other three band members, he released an album the next year, having the same name as the band.
  • Cyrus ceased his collaboration with ‘Brother Clyde’ in 2010 to concentrate on his solo career. Since then, he has released two albums, ‘I’m American’ and ‘Change My Mind’. The same year, he also had a supporting role in a Jackie Chan film, ‘The Spy Next Door’.
  • He has also featured in a few television specials that highlight his path to success. These include documentaries such as‘Billy Ray Cyrus: Dreams Come True’, ‘Billy Ray Cyrus: A Year on the Road’, ‘I Give My Heart To You’, and ‘The Life and Times of Billy Ray Cyrus’.
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Major Works:
  • Cyrus’s hugely successful debut album ‘Some Gave All’, released in 1992, was a unique blend of country and rock music. The album had as many as four hit singles, with the song ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ topping the charts in many countries. The album went on to become the best-selling album of that year in the US, selling almost five million copies.
Awards & Achievements:
  • The hit single ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ won a ‘Billboard Music Award’ in 1992, for staying at number one position on the Billboard charts for most weeks.
  • ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ was also nominated for two ‘Grammy Awards’ in 1993 in the categories ‘Record of the Year’ and ‘Best Country Vocal Performance, Male’.
  • Cyrus won an ‘American Music Award’ in 1993 in the category ‘Favourite Country New Artist’.
Personal Life & Legacy:
  • In 1986, Cyrus married Cindy Smith, who also co-wrote the songs ‘Wher'm I Gonna Live?’ and ‘Some Gave All’ with him. These songs were a part of his debut album ‘Some Gave All’. The marriage ended in divorce after five years.
  • In 1992, he married ‘Leticia Cyrus’ to whom he is still married. He has three children with her - Miley Ray, Braison Chance, and Noah Lindsey. He also has two stepchildren from Leticia’s previous relationship - Brandi and Trace.
  • He had a relationship with Kristin Luckey, with whom he also fathered a son, Christopher Cody. Cody was raised by his mother in South Carolina.
  • This famous country singer played the role of the father on-screen to his equally famous daughter in the hit TV series ‘Hannah Montana’.

See the events in life of Billy Ray Cyrus in Chronological Order

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- Billy Ray Cyrus Biography
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Last Updated
- October 05, 2017

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