BILLY RAY CYRUS
Cyrus comes from a preaching family and made his singing debut in his father's gospel group. In 1983, he formed his own band, Sly Dog, but they lost their equipment in a fire in Los Angeles. He then worked as a car salesman, but he kept visiting Nashville in the hope of finding musical success. Although the Cyrus virus proved infectious, the song's rhythms were close to Don Williams' "Tulsa Time”. The song topped both the US pop and country charts and was easily the most successful country single released in the UK during 1992. Another star, Travis Tritt, derided Cyrus for turning country music into "an asswiggling contest". Cyprus' album, Some Gave All, also topped the US pop and country charts, while he had a further transatlantic hit, "Could've Been Me", and recorded a parody of "Achy Breaky Heart" with the Chipmunks. Storm In The Heartland, featuring guest appearances from the Oak Ridge Boys and Danny Shirley of Confederate Railroad, and subsequent releases Trail Of Tears and Shot Full Of Love attempted to move Cyrus away from his lightweight image. He was more successful with Southern Rain, his debut for Sony's reactivated Monument imprint. Unfortunately with the proliferation of line-dancing clubs, it appears as though he will remain indelibly associated with the Achy Breaky.