Often called by his full name, Billy Ray Cyrus, the artist has sported a number of other titles.
“The dad in Hannah Montana.”
“The country singer with the ridiculous mullet.”
“The guy who sang ‘Achy Breaky Heart.'”
But starting in late August, the only correct way to refer to him will be, simply, “Cyrus.”
On May 2, Newser reported that the country singer said he will be legally changing his name and joining Beyonce in her club of “Famous Artists With One-Word Names.”
Okay he didn’t actually say anything about Queen Bey, and that club doesn’t exist (at least not that we know of), but he did confirm the name change.
On August 25, his birthday, the artist plans on making the name change legal by going to the Bellfonte, Kentucky, hospital in which he was born and signing the necessary documents.
The decision to go by “Cyrus” may come to a surprise for some, but Billy Ray shared that this was something he had always wanted to do.
“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,” he said in an interview with Rolling Stone.
Taste of Country reported that the artist has rethought the name change decision less that 24 hours after he made the news public.
In an interview, Billy Ray said that he was surprised at the upset revolving around his statement and has opened the floor for options.
“There’s now four versions, and I think over the next few months I’m gonna take a poll,” Billy Ray explained.
“So I can be Billy Ray or Billy Ray Cyrus, or ‘C’ Cyrus or ‘D, I don’t give a s***,” he added.
The original news regarding Billy Ray’s name change came out on the 25th anniversary of his most popular single, “Achy Breaky Heart.”
The website Born Country wrote a synopsis of the song’s history, concluding at its 25th anniversary.
In 1992, two months after its release, the song made its mark as #1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Chart, and stayed there for over a month.
The song has evolved from a single debut to the backbone of the artist’s first album. At some point it was the joke of the show on “Saturday Night Live” and was even turned into a Weird Al Yankovic parody. On its 22nd Anniversary, Billy Ray released a rap-version of the song with Buck 22.
Most recently, on the 25th anniversary and the same day Billy Ray publicly became just “Cyrus,” a new rendition of the song was released. The new song, “Achy Break Heart 25,” is said to be a more accurate “swampy” version of what the songwriter, Don Von Tress, originally intended when he wrote the song in 1990.
Sources: Taste of Country, Rolling Stone, Born Country, Newser / Photo credit: Matthew D. Leistikow via Wikimedia Commons