Achy Breaky 2

Album: Single Release Only (2014)
Charted: 80

Songfacts®:

  • This updated version of Billy Ray Cyrus' 1992 hit features the Country star in a guest spot. Buck 22 explained: "I asked if he would mind if I could take a crack at remaking 'Achy Breaky Heart' and he looked at me for a moment, and said 'lots of people have tried already, but go for it.'"

    "He didn't have a clue that I had already gone into the lab and cooked up a demo of what I thought would be a fun EDM/hip-hop styled version, which at the time only had a sample from the original of his voice," Buck added. "He liked what he heard and, weeks later, arrived at the session to record this track."
  • Buck 22 (real name Damon Elliott) is the son of actor/Jazz drummer Bill Elliott and Pop legend Dionne Warwick. Best known as a producer, his credits include four tracks on Pink's Missundaztood album as well as "Sexy Daddy" for Destiny Child's Survivor LP.
  • Cyrus told Rolling Stone how the track came about. "The story starts with a song I wrote the day after Columbine, 'Hope Is Just Ahead.' I wrote the song, then and I just sat with it for years. I never dreamed that Dionne Warwick would join me at Jamie Foxx's studio in his mansion outside by the pool [to record it]. She put her heart and soul into this song like it was her purpose."

    "Anyway, her son Buck 22, who's a very talented young man, comes into the studio and says, 'Sir, would you be opposed if I took a shot at recording 'Achy Breaky Heart'?' It just kind of happened," he added. "He had this track that I thought was unique and cool that wasn't copping the exact record. I took it to my southern rock, bluegrass sound that I do and we just made our own sound."
  • Buck references Billy Ray's daughter when he raps: "Miley keeps twerkin', daddy's song is workin'. Now Billy sing that crazy hook again." Cyrus senior told Rolling Stone: "I was there when he came up with it. Everything happened in 24 hours. His mama sang on 'Hope' at Jamie Foxx's studio and the next day, I was so excited about it, I was in the studio mixing it. While we were there, Damon came in with his computer and said, 'I did what you asked me to, sir.' I said, 'Please, man, call me BRC.' He's called me BRC ever since, and everybody's making such a big deal out of him calling me BRC. It's so funny that it's so real."

    "He had just done everything I asked him to do with his version, like slow it down," Billy Ray continued. "I drove to his house and sang the chorus. He got inspired and wrote the verses right there. This was on the night that Miley was on Barbara Walters's 10 Most Fascinating People for 2013. Buck 22 said, 'We've got a TV in the studio.' I was singing the lead vocal on 'Achy' and looking through the window at Miley, talking to Barbara Walters. At the specific point in the song where I scream 'wrecking ball,' I was actually screaming to everybody in the studio, pointing at the TV because there is Miley swinging by on the ball. What's the chance that my ass is behind the microphone 22 years later singing the same song, having fun behind the microphone and my daughter swings by on Barbara Walters's Most Fascinating People? What else would I yell?"
  • The veteran US radio host Larry King opens the song's music video with a breaking news warning of an "unidentified flying object seen transcending over Europe." "It all started with Larry King," Billy Ray said. "We were playing around in the studio and decided to do something fun for the 22nd anniversary of the song. It's so wrong, it's right."

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