Billy Ray Cyrus is celebrating the 25th anniversary of his wildly popular – and polarizing – 1992 single “Achy Breaky Heart” with a new version of the song. Released today, the updated “Achy Breaky Heart” is more faithful to songwriter Don Von Tress’ swampy demo. Cyrus joined Von Tress in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, to re-record the track with members of the famous Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, the Swampers. (Listen to the new version below.)
But Cyrus didn’t stop there. He is also poised to release a Spanglish interpretation of “Achy Breaky Heart” and, what he says, is an EDM version with Bootsy Collins. Cyrus and Von Tress perform their Muscle Shoals take on “Achy Breaky” in today’s Ram Report.
Cyrus also revealed that he’s changing his name – dropping the “Billy Ray” and releasing music only under his surname.
“After August 25th, I will be the artist formerly known as Billy Ray. I’m just going by my last name Cyrus,” he tells Rolling Stone Country. “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. I’m going to the hospital where I was born in Bellefonte, Kentucky, and legally changing my name.”
In addition to his updated moniker and “Achy Breaky Heart” trio, Cyrus is working on a new album and also gearing up for the second season premiere of CMT’s Still the King, in which he plays an Elvis impersonator on the lam.