Billy Ray Cyrus Signs with Word

Word Label Group announces the addition of multi-award winning artist/actor Billy Ray Cyrus to its Word Records roster. One of the most recognizable names in the entertainment industry, Cyrus will be releasing his debut gospel album, The Other Side nationwide October 28, 2003.
“We are honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Billy Ray, and the relationship so far has proven to be as great as we had expected,” stated Mark Lusk, sr vp of marketing, Word Label Group. “We are so excited about this partnership and have already received a great response to Billy Ray in and outside of the Christian market. People are really looking forward to this new project, and we’re pulling out all of the stops.”
Returning to his gospel heritage, The Other Side offers reflections from Cyrus’s personal journey and deep-rooted Christian faith. Produced by Billy Joe Walker Jr. (Travis Tritt, Pam Tillis, Tracy Byrd), the 11- track project features his trademark “rockin” country and big ballad sound. With masterful storytelling that speaks of faith and his own personal journey, The Other Side offers a side of Cyrus that fans have yet to hear. Penning the title song for the project, “The Other Side,” Cyrus and Walker mined Nashville’s rich and varied talent pool for the other material, finding songs by writers from the worlds of country (Bob DiPiero, Tom Shapiro, Rivers Rutherford, Kelly Shiver, Victoria Shaw), gospel (Bebo Norman) and pop (Richard Marx). The project also features special guests such as Marx, ’80s pop icon Kim Carnes, rocker Bekka Bramlett and Denise Walls of Anointed, to the tight southern gospel harmonies of the Jordanaires, all of whom lent their vocals to the project.
“This whole album came together very naturally, it just fell into place,” Cyrus says. “Nothing was forced about it, nothing was planned, it just evolved into what it was meant to be. Making this album was probably most similar to Some Gave All, my first album, in that it became who I was and what I wanted to sing and where I am at in my life. It was very real — I hate to be so cliché about it, but that’s the truth.”
To coincide with marketing efforts surrounding the project, Word Records will release two singles simultaneously to both Christian and mainstream radio. “Always 16” will be released to country radio on Oct. 14 and “Tip Of My Heart” will be released to INSP, AC and CHR stations on Oct. 17. With music and an artist that possesses broad appeal, The Other Side will also feature a multi-level marketing plan that includes visits to both Christian and mainstream retailers, national television appearances and an upcoming national promotional tour. In addition, The Other Side will include a bonus DVD premium (while supplies last) which features an exclusive interview, behind-the-scenes footage, plus three new music videos.
“From the first meeting I had with the staff at Word Records, through the entire recording process, it felt like I found a home for the music I have wanted to create for a lifetime,” Cyrus said. “I feel very proud and blessed to be a part of the Word family.”
With 14 million unit career sales, Cyrus has also garnered many industry awards including, American Music Awards, CMA, Billboard and countless awards for his philanthropic efforts including the first-ever Bob Hope Congressional Medal of Honor Society Award. He still holds the record for the longest time at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Albums chart by a debut artist (17 weeks with “Some Gave All”). Cyrus has also had six Top 10 radio singles, including three #1, with hits such as “Some Gave All”, “Achy Breaky Heart”, “Could’ve Been Me” and “Busy Man” and five #1 music videos on CMT. In addition to his musical achievements, Cyrus also stars in the #1 rated PAX TV series “Doc”, beginning its fourth season Oct. 5.

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