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It wasn’t really a rumor, but more of a misunderstanding that sent Billy Ray Cyrus fans into a tailspin.

In an interview with Rolling Stone Country, Billy Ray was quoted as saying, “After August 25, I will be the artist formerly known as Billy Ray. I’m going by my last name.” He even went as far as to say that, “I’m going to the hospital where I was born in Bellefonte, Kentucky, and legally changing my name.”

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Billy Ray explained that he had always been called “Cyrus,” and early in his recording career, wanted to use that as his professional name.

Apparently, some of the country icon’s fans, including talk show host Kelly Ripa, weren’t having it, and when he recently appeared on “Live with Kelly and Ryan” he clarified what he actually meant during that interview. (And he looked darn good doing it!)

“I’m here to set the record straight. That’s the name of the album—‘Cyrus.’ And then sub-titled, ‘Set the record straight,’” he explained. “I was supposed to be keeping it under wraps until 8/25, that’s my birthday, and it’s the 25-year anniversary [of his recording career], just playing on that. And I have new music coming.”

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He went on to say that he debuted one of the songs, “You Good,” from the now album on his CMT series “Still the King” since it fit his character Vernon’s storyline, even though it was actually inspired by a text Billy Ray sent to one of his famous daughters.

So all of Billy Ray’s fans, including us, can relax. The singer, songwriter and actor isn’t ditching his extremely southern moniker. And even if he did, he’d still be Billy Ray in our achy breaky hearts.

Billy Ray Cyrus clears up the drama surrounding his name change — sort of Live with Kelly and Ryan
Based in Nashville, Tammy is a 20-year veteran of the country music community. She has worked in marketing, PR and artist development in the past. Follow her @TammyGooGoo and join the conversation @RareCountry
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