It’s been a quarter of a century since Billy Ray Cyrus emerged on the scene with his trademark mullet and muscle-baring tops. The "Achy Breaky Heart" singer is a cultural icon, but these days, he’s more known for his famous kids than for his own accomplishments.
As the father of pop powerhouse Miley Cyrus and star-on-the-rise Noah Cyrus, Billy Ray is more than happy to play third fiddle. Still, just because his daughters are the ones topping the charts and appearing on hit shows like The Voice, doesn’t mean he’s sitting around twiddling his thumbs. “It's still great to be here 25 years later!” he exclusively told Closer Weekly earlier this year. Clearly, the 56-year-old isn’t going anywhere — so scroll down to see everything you need to know about Billy Ray!
Miley, Tish, and Billy Ray.
What is Billy Ray's real name?
Believe it or not, that’s really his name! William Ray Cyrus was born on Aug. 25, 1961, to Ron Cyrus, a politician and former steelworker, and Ruth Ann Casto. He grew up in Kentucky and started singing at just four years old. He later attended Georgetown College on a baseball scholarship before dropping out his junior year to pursue music instead.
How did Billy Ray get famous?
Billy Ray kicked off his music career in the 1980s band Sly Dog, who snagged a contract with Mercury Nashville Records. But he didn’t really hit it big until his first solo record, Some Gave All, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top 200. The album’s lead single, “Achy Breaky Heart,” was so popular, it sparked a line dance craze.
Billy Ray early in his career.
Does Billy Ray wear a wig?
His signature shaggy ‘do might seem too good to be true but he insists he doesn’t need a wig to go full mullet. “I can be mulletised in a matter of moments,” he said recently.
Is Billy Ray related to Dolly Parton?
Though he and Dolly are incredibly close — he calls her one of his “best friends" and she’s Miley’s godmother — they’re not technically related. That said, he credits her with his success after the two fielded dating rumors in the early ‘90s. “‘Honey, that s–t sells records!’” he remembers her saying. “Next thing I knew, Some Gave All was No. 1 for 17 weeks in a row! Pretty soon after that, I was opening her shows! She sent a letter to my dressing room and we just bonded from that night on.”
Billy Ray (left) and Dolly (right).
Is Billy Ray married?
Billy Ray married songwriter Cindy Smith in 1986, only to divorce her five years later. Then, on Dec. 28, 1993, he married Tish Cyrus, with whom he started a family. The two have gone through ups and downs, filing for divorce in 2010 and again in 2013. However, they have since entered into couples therapy and rekindled their relationship.
How many kids does Billy Ray have?
With Tish, Billy Ray had Miley, Noah, and 23-year-old son Braison. Early in their marriage, he adopted her children from a previous relationship, daughter Brandi and son Trace. Around the time that Miley was born — before he married Tish — he also had a son named Christopher with Kristin Luckey.
Is Billy Ray still performing?
Aside from a brief stint with the band Brother Clyde around 2010, Billy Ray has continued to record solo music. His most recent album, Change My Mind, dropped in 2012, and this year, he released a multilingual version of “Achy Breaky Heart” with the Mexican band Caballo Dorado. "The song was always a bridge to bring people together,” he told Closer.
Is Billy Ray still acting?
The multi-talented star has acted over the years, appearing in movies like Mulholland Drive and on TV shows like his daughter’s Hannah Montana and the sitcom, Doc. He now headlines the scripted CMT series, Still the King.
What’s Billy Ray's net worth?
Thanks to his success in multiple industries, Billy Ray has made a pretty penny. As of 2017, Celebrity Net Worth lists his fortune at $20 million.