Billy Ray Cyrus is a man who’s had a lot of changes in his life. One of the most easily noted is just how differently people have referred to him over the years. His daughter’s rise to fame often led him to being called “The dad in Hannah Montana” or “Miley’s Dad”. He might even be known as “The guy who sang ‘Achy Breaky Heart'”. Though he notes with a sense of self deprecating humor that there are some less kind names. For example some might know him as “The country singer with the ridiculous mullet”. In general the performer has preferred to simply go by his full name, Billy Ray Cyrus. And in some sense this isn’t changing. Instead he’ll be referred to in a different way entirely because his full name will be different. On May 2nd the world learned that the famous musician would simply be known as “Cyrus”.

The artist plans on making the big change on his birthday. The start of a new year of his life should also be the start of his life with a new name. And appropriately he plans to make it happen in the Bellefonte, Kentucky hospital in which he was born. It’s easy to see how this makes things come full circle in his life. Most of the public will see this as a surprising development. But according to Cyrus he’s been considering it for a long time. Apparently when he first signed with Mercury Records he actually begged to simply be called Cyrus on the label. It’s just what he was known by and comfortable with in certain circles. However, things haven’t been as intuitive as all this might make it seem. Cyrus himself has seemed sure of the change for a while. But he wasn’t expecting so many other people to have such a strong reaction to the news. Just 24 hours after making the announcement Cyrus was starting to rethink his decision.

Cyrus has stated that he was surprised that the decision proved so controversial. He even decided to put some options out there and see what people think. Some of his other ideas included “Billy Ray”, “Billy Ray Cyrus”, or ‘C’ Cyrus. The news of this change isn’t just coming around the time of his birthday. It’s also the 25th anniversary of his most popular song. “Achy Breaky Heart” is what led many people to learn about the performer in the first place. In only two months after it was first released it made it to No. 1. And it stayed there for more than a month in 1992. One couldn’t turn on a radio without hearing it back in 1992. The song was also notable for pushing bast genre limitations. People seldom step beyond whatever genre they’re personally interested in. But “Achy Breaky Heart” was beloved by fans of a wide variety of musical genres. It was so popular that it was mentioned on “Saturday Night Live”. And it was even turned into a parody by the king of that field, Weird Al Yankovic. Cyrus himself even pushed past the limits of genre by releasing a rap remix of it with Buck 22 on the song’s 22nd anniversary. He finally made the change and is now known simply as Cyrus. But along with that he marked the occasion by releasing the “Achy Breaky Heart 25” version of the song.