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Billy Ray Cyrus is just “Cyrus” now; all hail the Age of Cyrus

Photo: Taylor Hill/Getty

Celebrating 25 years of congenital heart breakiness, Billy Ray Cyrus has released an updated version of the most popular thing he’s ever produced that can’t embarrass him with a nude photo, debuting “Achy Breaky Heart 25th” today. And while hearing a slightly slower, mumblier rendition of the song with some banjo thrown in is bound to prove revelatory to people who have tried so hard to forget, it’s been overshadowed somewhat by another update. The singer has announced he’s officially dropping the “Billy Ray” from his name. THE BILLY REIGN IS OVER. NOW BEGINS THE AGE OF CYRUS.

“I always went by Cyrus, and I begged Mercury Records to call me Cyrus in the beginning because that’s what I was comfortable with,” Cyrus tells Rolling Stone Country of these callous record industry idolmakers, who forced a pandering, gratuitous “Billy Ray” on a young and desperate William Ray Cyrus, presumably because they thought it sounded more “human.” Well, their tyranny ends today! After suffering for a quarter-century—minus the 19 years where he was under the smaller, more independent tyranny of other labels—Cyrus is, officially, just bein’ Cyrus.


“I’m going to the hospital where I was born in Bellefonte, Kentucky, and legally changing my name,” Cyrus said. Hell yeah! Classic Cyrus! Takin’ no shit from nobody!

In keeping with his new, far more futuristic name and the era of creative rebirth it portends, Cyrus also says he’s already re-recorded “Achy Breaky Heart” in Spanglish, as well as an “EDM version with Bootsy Collins.” So remember, it’s now just “Can you please turn off that awful Cyrus song?”

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