August 25

Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Achy Breaky Heart:” One of The Biggest Country Hits Of All Time

Love it or hate it, but you can never deny the far-reaching appeal of Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Achy Breaky Heart.”

The catchy song totally dominated the airwaves when it was released in 1992 as the first single off Cyrus’ debut album Some Gave All. In the United States alone, it became a crossover hit on country and pop radio – landing on top of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart while reaching No. 4 on Billboard Hot 100. It topped in several countries as well, including in Australia, where it became the best-selling single at that time and was even the country’s first single ever to earn triple Platinum status.

Songwriter Don Von Tress wrote “Achy Breaky Heart” in 1990 while “fooling around on the guitar and a drum machine.” Meanwhile, country group The Oak Ridge Boys was originally the first to record the song. However, the quartet rejected it as its lead singer Duane Allen doesn’t like how the words “achy breaky” sound.

But did you know the group was not the only one who’s not fond of the song? In fact, some music magazines named “Achy Breaky Heart” as one of the worst songs of all time.

Still, it was translated into more than a hundred languages and was covered by several artists. Its music video even brought out line dance into the mainstream – a craze that remained through the ’90s. It gave birth to “The Achy Breaky” dance, which turned out to be pervasive in country dance bars.

While several more Billy Ray Cyrus songs entered the chart, there’s definitely none that topped “Achy Breaky Heart.” It’s the track that sealed Cyrus’ fate as a bona fide country music star. 

Make sure to listen to “Achy Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray Cyrus in the video below.


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