Billy Ray Cyrus Retiring From Recording?
Billy Ray Cyrus announced this week that on June 28, he’ll be releasing ‘I’m American,’ a new album chock full of original patriotic songs. But in an exclusive interview with The Boot, he reveals that the album after ‘I’m American’ may be his last.
Billy Ray has already written what will surely be his most personal album in his 20-plus-year career — and could be his swan song. The record chronicles a six-month period that was one of the most challenging times of his life and included issues with his famous teenage daughter Miley, as well as a separation and reconciliation with his wife Tish.
“This music of this next album — if anybody wonders what was my life like between October of last year and April of this year — it’s going to be very well documented because this album is it. It’s my life,” he told The Boot as we shadowed him for an upcoming Day In the Life feature.
“I don’t even want to write another album, I don’t want to record another album after this one,” the singer continues. “I didn’t even want to write this one. I was going to retire after ‘I’m American,’ but I wrote this next batch of music so now I need to record it and bring it full circle.”
The songs poured out of him as he reflected on what he and his family were going through. “There’s not a song on there that I’d planned on writing,” he says. “Every song on there came to me during these last six months … they just came out of me. I write songs because it’s the only way I know to express myself, to be honest. My songs come when I’m dealing with heavy stuff in life.”
The last song he wrote for the project is called ‘That’s What Daddies Do.’ Billy Ray spoke softly and often haltingly when discussing the tune. “Sometimes as a dad you’ve got to be willing to make decisions that are in the best interest of your family and you just gotta try; you just gotta try and do what’s right for your family. Sometimes as a daddy you make sacrifices and you don’t always do what you want to do. You do what’s best for your family, and that’s what daddies do. That’s what it’s about.”
When pressed, he admits he still loves making music and jokes that right as he’s talking about retiring, we’re driving past Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles. “Take me on over there. Take me on in,” he says with a laugh.
Even if the next set following ‘I’m American’ is his last album, Billy Ray vows he’ll never stop playing live. “I will always have to be in a band. I love to play music.”