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Billy Ray Cyrus Changes His Name, Drops New Version of Biggest Hit [LISTEN]

Billy Ray Cyrus name change
Michael Loccisano, Getty Images

Billy Ray Cyrus is no more. As he celebrates the 25th anniversary of his smash-hit single “Achy Breaky Heart,” the artist has announced a name change: From here on out, he’s going only by his last name, Cyrus.

“After Aug. 25, I will be the artist formerly known as Billy Ray. I’m just going by my last name, Cyrus,” Cyrus 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.”

This won’t just be a career name change, either: “I’m going to the hospital where I was born in Bellefonte, Ky., and legally changing my name,” Cyrus adds.

Learn How “Achy Breaky Heart” Became Part of a Major Country Feud

In addition to his music — Cyrus is currently working on a new album — Cyrus also acts. The singer is preparing for Season 2 of his CMT comedy Still the King, the latest in a string of TV and movie roles he’s taken on. In Still the King, Cyrus plays Vernon Brown (aka “Burnin’ Vernon”), an Elvis impersonator-turned-pretend pastor (it’s sort of a long story …).

In addition to his name change, Cyrus has released a new version of his 1992 single “Achy Breaky Heart” in honor of its 25th anniversary. Readers can press play below to hear the “Muscle Shoals edition” of “Achy Breaky Heart,” which is more in line with songwriter Don Von Tress’ demo version. Cyrus and Von Tress went to Muscle Shoals, Ala., to record this new version of “Achy Breaky Heart,” with the Swampers, the famed Muscle Shoals rhythm section.

Following its release as a single, “Achy Breaky Heart” became a No. 1 county hit in the U.S., and the No. 2 country song of the year in 1992. It also hit No. 1 in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, and landed in the Top 10 in a number of other locations. Additionally, “Achy Breaky Heart” became a Top 5 pop hit in the United States, and has been certified platinum.

Listen to Billy Ray Cyrus’ 25th Anniversary Muscle Shoals Edition of “Achy Breaky Heart”

Learn Some ’90s Country Facts!

NEXT: Top 10 Country Songs of the '90s

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