Billy Ray Cyrus is switching things up. Not only has he updated his 1992 hit single “Achy Breaky Heart,” but the singer is also changing his name. In an interview with Rolling Stone Country, the singer says he’ll soon be known as Cyrus as he has decided to drop his first name.
“After August 25th, I will be the artist formerly known as Billy Ray. I’m just going by my last name Cyrus,” he tells the publication. “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 changing his name, the singer has updated “Achy Breaky Heart” in celebration of the 25th anniversary of its release. A new studio version of the song embraces the swampy vibe that was showcased on songwriter Don Von Tress’ original demo. For the rendition, Cyrus joined Von Tress and the Swampers, the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, in the studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Listen to their performance below.
Cyrus’ swampy version of “Achy Breaky Heart” is far from the last reinvention of the song as the singer tells RS Country that he’s also working on an EDM version of his hit with Bootsy Collins as well as a Spanglish interpretation. No word on when those cuts will be released.