Today (8/25) is Billy Ray Cyrus’ birthday, and for most of my childhood, I considered it a national holiday.
I’ve loved Billy Ray Cyrus since the first time that my Grandmother & I first saw the “Achy Breaky Heart” video on CMT. While most of my friends were obsessing over boy bands & pop princesses in the nineties, the way to my little redneck heart was a mullet and high top Reeboks.
The first CD I ever bought was “Some Gave All.” I had a Billy Ray Cyrus t-shirt for every day of the week, and my bedroom was literally covered with his pictures–seriously, the wallpaper was not visible because it was completely covered with BRC posters! I was a due-paying, card-carrying Billy Ray Cyrus fan club member.
My family was never super wealthy, so we couldn’t afford to go to many concerts, but each year, my parents would save up money to take us to see a BRC show. It was always the highlight of my summer.
Even though we could never afford meet & greet passes or any special perks, my Mom & Dad would make sure that we got to the venue hours early, so that we could see the busses arrive–and try to meet Billy Ray the old fashioned way: CREEPIN’!
Sure enough, Billy Ray and his band would always take time to stop and talk to us, sign autographs and take pictures. They say to never meet your heroes because they’ll never live up to your expectations, but even at the height of fame, Billy Ray Cyrus was never anything short of kind & gracious to his fans. He never said no to a picture, autograph, hug or handshake, and that always impressed me.
I have so many happy memories and stories of Billy Ray Cyrus and his music–too many to even fit into this space–but here are a few of my favorites…