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Billy Ray Cyrus

Billy Ray Cyrus

Biography

Throughout the course of nearly three decades, Billy Ray Cyrus has achieved international success as a singer, songwriter, entertainer, and philanthropist.  He has sold millions of albums, charted 35 singles, 16 of which are Top 40 hits and continues to receive critical acclaim as an actor, writer, and executive producer in film and television.

Cyrus was born in Flatwoods, Kentucky on August 25, 1961. His father, Ron Cyrus, was a steelworker who felt a calling to serve his fellow man and became a state legislator and the head of the Kentucky AFL-CIO. He spent 21 years in the Kentucky House of Representatives before retiring from office in 1996. Ron Cyrus was also an accomplished singer in the gospel southern quartet, The Crownsmen, where Cyrus first felt the power of harmonies. (Cyrus yearned to learn how to harmonize with himself and successfully did as he was recently given the title of “The country Freddy Mercury,”by fellow musician, Shooter Jennings in Rolling Stone magazine.) Additionally, his mother, Ruthie, played piano, his maternal grandfather, Papaw Casto, played the fiddle and his paternal grandfather, Papaw Cyrus, was a Pentecostal preacher. Regular family jam sessions were common in the Cyrus household and often dominated by country, gospel, and old standards.

 

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