Billy Ray Cyrus biography
The Spy Next Door
Billy Ray Cyrus
Date of Birth: August 25, 1961
Multi-platinum recording artist Billy Ray Cyrus has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide, and earned nearly 30 chart singles, including 15 Top 40 chart hits; while at the same time establishing himself as a successful and respected actor in film and television. His debut album, "Some Gave All," was a blockbuster success and is the longest-running No. 1 country album ever, spending 34 weeks on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart.
Born in Flatwoods, Kentucky, Cyrus originally attended college on a baseball scholarship, but eventually switched his focus to music. He was discovered in 1990 by Mercury talent scouts while opening for Reba McEntire in Louisville, Kentucky. His first big hit, "Achey Breaky Heart," was originally titled "Don't Tell My Heart," but it changed after he started performing it and everyone kept asking for that achey breaky song.
At the time, he was married to his first wife, Cindy Smith, with whom he co-wrote the songs "Wher'm I Gonna Live?" and "Some Gave All," but the marriage ended in divorce in 1991 amid rumors of Cyrus's infidelity. In April 1992, a woman named Kristen Luckey gave birth to Cyrus's first son, Christopher Cody. By the time the boy was born, however, Cyrus was already expecting another child with Leticia Anne Finley. Finley gave birth to a daughter, Miley, in November 1992, and on December 28, 1993, Cyrus and Finley married. Since then, Cyrus and Finley have had two other children, Noah and Braison. He also adopted Finley's children from a previous relationship—Trace and Brandi.
In 1999 Cyrus tried his hand at acting when he was asked to make a guest appearance on The Love Boat: The Next Wave. He then starred in the independent film Radical Jack (2000) and played a small role in David Lynch's Mulholland Drive (2001). In 2001, he moved with his family to Toronto when he landed the title role in the PAX-TV series Doc (2001-2004), playing a small town Montana doctor who experiences culture shock when he goes to work in a New York City medical clinic. When the show ended its run, Cyrus stayed on in Toronto for a short time to play Frank Butler in a stage production of the musical Annie Get Your Gun.
Following the end of the show, Cyrus wasn't out of work long. His daughter, Miley, who had gained acting experience playing guest roles on her father's series, was angling to play the lead in a new Disney Channel series. He was asked to audition with her, and their offscreen chemistry cemented Disney's decision to cast both of them as father and daughter in Hannah Montana, about a teenage pop star and her former country star father who retires to act as her manager. He reprised the role in the motion picture Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009), and also appears alongside Jackie Chan in the action film The Spy Next Door (2010).
Other TV credits include hosting NBC's Nashville Star, and competing in ABC's Dancing with the Stars.