Billy Ray Cyrus is making a comeback.
The one-time crossover country superstar is revisiting his (only) mainstream hit by releasing an EDM version of “Achy Breaky Heart,” getting set for his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame eligibility and changing his name — if he can just figure out how. And unlike the latest viral Facebook trend, all of the former are truths with not one lie.
It’s been 25 years since Cyrus and his souped-up mullet dropped “Achy Breaky Heart” on an unsuspecting populace, cracking the top 10 around the world and, oddly enough even topping the charts in Australia. Since then, he’s wallowed in the land of on-hit-wonderdom, the answer to a question at the corner tavern weekly trivia night, fodder for jukebox jokesters and despised by music lovers who aren’t avid fans of line dancing and Dingo footwear. Yet, with it being two and a half decades, he’s technically eligible to be nominated into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s class of 2018, but as likely to get in as Fyre Festival 2018 is to take place.
But Rock Hall be damned, Cyrus is gonna celebrate the “Achy Breaky” days or yore with three (!) newly recorded versions, each even more ludicrous than the next. The first is a kinda-sorta standard reworking, with the renowned Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, the Swampers, working for a paycheck which can be heard below. He’s also done a Spanglish version, which everyone knows, unless your name is David Lee Roth, never works out. Finally, he’s ventured into the world of EDM with the only musician crazy enough to accompany him, ex-Parliament-Funkadelic bassist Bootsy Collins.
Most recently, Billy Ray has gained a bit of notoriety as the father of Miley, pop wild child and Flaming Lips collaborator whose star has shone brighter than her father’s ever did. What’s a Dad to do in an attempt to regain relevancy without besmirching his daughter? Obviously he’s got to not only revisit the past, but change his name — if he can just figure out how to do it.
Cyrus tells Rolling Stone Country that as of August 25 this year, his 56th birthday, he’ll be dropping the first two-thirds of his name. “I will be the artist formerly known as Billy Ray,” he says. “I’m just going by my last name Cyrus.”
He goes on to say that from when he first signed to Mercury Records, he “begged” the label to let him join the ranks of mononymous artists like Cher, Björk and Voltaire, but they refused. though now that he’s taking the reigns on his name, he might be in for a bit of a challenge. “I’m going to the hospital where I was born in Bellefonte, Kentucky, and legally changing my name,” he tells Rolling Stone.
Unfortunately for Cyrus, that’s not quite how it works. All he’s going to find in a hospital is a lot of sick people and a bunch of babies being born. They aren’t going to be able to assist him in changing his name. Vanyaland spoke with a representative from Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital in Ashland, Kentucky, where Cyrus was born. They informed us that if we’re looking to change our name, we can’t just show up in the emergency room and tell them we want to go by Cyrus.
“My name was legally changed when I was younger, and the court had to change it,” a kind woman there tells us. “If you want it legally changed… you’d have to have your ID changed, your Social Security card, all that stuff for it to be legal.”
To add another obstacle to the quest of Billy Ray, if he is looking for a total re-brand and wants to acquire the domain cyrus.com, he’s in for a fight. Cyrus Azar Consulting, who not only claim to have been, “developing leading edge technologies for more than 20 years,” while somehow maintaining a façade reminiscent of the earliest days of Netscape, they also claim to have been copyrighted since 550 B.C.
Sorry Billy Ray, hopefully this time your achy breaky heart will understand.