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The year 2012 marked the 20th anniversary since Billy Ray Cyrus released his chart-topping debut album, Some Gave All. To celebrate such a monumental moment in his career, Cyrus released his 13th studio album Change My Mind, which featured a pure country track called “Hillbilly Heart.”
“Hillbilly Heart” was released as the second single off of Change My Mind on January 28, 2013. The entire song was written and composed by Cyrus as a way of honoring his country roots.
The lyrics describe Cyrus’ Kentucky upbringing, and how he has always been country to the core. Even after the passage of time, Cyrus continues to stay true to who he is, as he sings:
“Keepin’ it country,
Keepin’ it country all the time,
Well I’ve been this way from the start,
I got a hillbilly heart.”
Following the release of “Hillbilly Heart,” Cyrus expressed his excitement about the track in a news report on his official website. He said that the song not only celebrates his personal roots in country music, but the foundation that was set by some of country’s greatest legends.
“I wrote this song as a tip of the hat to my pure love of country music…past, present and future,” he said.
During an appearance at a Barnes & Noble bookstore in New York City, Cyrus entertained the crowd with an acoustic rendition of “Hillbilly Heart.” The stripped down arrangement gave Cyrus’ voice the chance to shine through, and the crowd loved it!
More than 20 years after his debut, Cyrus is continuing to “keep it country” through his music and his upcoming CMT television show Still the King. You can check out the trailer here, and mark your calendars for the show’s premiere on June 12!
Watch Cyrus prove that his “Hillbilly Heart” is stronger than ever in his acoustic performance below.