- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: New Harvest; 1 edition (April 16, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0547992653
- ISBN-13: 978-0547992655
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 288 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #909,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hillbilly Heart Hardcover – April 16, 2013
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According to him, when he has reached critical points in his life, singer-songwriter Billy Ray Cyrus hears voices. So far, parents, teachers, girlfriends, juvenile-court judges, tarot-card readers, complete strangers, and even spirits have warned him of dangers and offered directions to reform his life, but he often fends off advice as long as he can. He especially resisted the ghostly “Buy a guitar and start a band” message until he discovered that left-handed guitars exist, which he understood as a sign from God telling him to heed the inexplicable call. Although he learned to play guitar quickly and had natural singing ability, he spent many years performing in dangerous dance halls, under the influence of alcohol, drugs, and women, before he landed a recording contract in Nashville. With wit and candor reminiscent of his song lyrics, Cyrus recounts his rise to musical stardom, the start of his acting career, and his struggles to maintain a marriage and raise children. His fans and those of his daughter Miley Cyrus will enjoy this tell-everything memoir. --Rick Roche
"The first time I met Billy Ray I felt like I had known him all of my life. I still feel the same way today. He is a warm feeling in my heart and a sweet thought on my mind. He seems like family to me. I've always been interested in his life, his success and in his children, especially my beautiful fairy god daughter, Miley. I'm very proud of Billy Ray and find him very fascinating and interesting. I know you will enjoy finding out all about him, his life and rise to fame. What we have most in common is a Hillbilly Heart."—Dolly Parton
"What a life this guy has had. He goes from having one of the biggest records in the history of radio to watching his daughter grow from a child to one of the biggest stars in the business. There are very few people who can handle that. Billy Ray has done an incredible job as a father and an artist and now as an author."—Kenny Rogers
"Billy Ray's talent, whether singing, acting, or writing, amazes me, and his versatility sets him apart from most. Hillbilly Heart is a beautiful account of Billy Ray's colorful life—great stories, told by a humble man. My life is richer, and the world is a better place, because of him—just as yours will be after reading this book."—Randy Travis
"It's no exaggeration to call country star Cyrus' memoir a hoot."—New York Post
"Told in a natural and candid tone, the book will please country-music fans and may even win over some skeptics.…a warm account of a star who has managed to remain humble."—Kirkus Reviews
"Cyrus chronicles a rollercoaster life, from his troubled adolescence and the revelation that he wanted to become a musician, to life on the road, the challenges and successes of writing music, the difficulties and joys of marriage, and his work in television."—Publishers Weekly
"Such earnest yearning, in his songs and in the telling of his life story, endears Billy Ray Cyrus to his audience. During recent interviews promoting the book, Cyrus makes a point to honor and pay tribute to the victims of last week's Boston Marathon bombing. Against the backdrop of such a terrible and baffling event, the timing of Hillbilly Heart, with its positive focus on faith in the source of all good things, seems fortuitous."—Biographile
"This book is an honest look at his life. He’s truthful about his drinking, drugs and the mistakes he’s made in his life."—Red Carpet Crash
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Mr. Cyrus covers everything from his rise in the country music scene, his transition into other media (such as TV), recreational use of marijuana, his family interactions, and much more. I fully expected him to gloss over much of the controversies and media that have occasionally probed into his family life. Instead, he seems very candid when addressing those personal issues and states his feelings quite plainly.
Naturally, he does mention his famous daughter and their relationship. He doesn't mention the other children quite as much, but that is probably because they aren't as in the spotlight. I had to assume that he was either trying to protect them to some degree or the editor cut those parts out. Still, none of this seemed to be for shameless self promotion. It was more like any other parent talking about what their kids were doing.
As autobiographies go, this is one of the best I've ever read. I wasn't bored and I learned quite a bit about Mr. Cyrus that I didn't know before. With a career as varied and long as his, I'd recommend this book not just for fans of country music, but also for fans of entertainment history. I found it to be a well-paced book that didn't leave me bored and I learned a lot. That's generally a good accomplishment when people are talking about themselves.
The most fascinating part of this book expands from his childhood to signing that recording contract because during this period, Cyrus is like the tortoise--slowly and steadily climbing his way on up. And when he reached the "Achy Breaky" pinnacle and began to slide, Cyrus took the advice of his father and developed new hustles to keep him in the public eye.
Warm antidotes about his family tie this warm memoir together. If you're looking for juicy gossip, this book doesn't offer that. Instead, this inspirational book provides evidence that it's best to ignore the critics and keep on stepping.
P.S. I loved the show, "Doc"...one of the best family shows ever!
He doesn't go into the cheating details of his wife with Butt Michaels of Poison fame, nor does he really touch on much of the personal trash we've already read. But he makes his life sound like a pretty A+ perfect country style down home on the farm, one we all know isn't to be true.
A bit too "pretty" for me. But overall, not too shabby. I wouldn't want to hear or see a sequel.
I am from, born and raised, KY. Most of the stories of B.R.'s youth are experiences that are the autobiography of most 'country boys. For him to overcome his indiscretions is remarkable. For someone to admit to them in a public forum is a very brave thing. Most of the stories of youth are only mentioned as bragging rights during a " sit around and shoot the shit get drunk" session for country boys.
As a literary work, this is not a masterpiece. As an enjoyable tale of one man's life and problems of a superstar and his family, it is well worth the price and time.