WATCH: Billy Ray Cyrus Performs in Front of Epic Crowd at the Old Town Music Festival

by Amy Myers

You know you have a good crowd at a concert when you can hardly hear the artist over the audience, singing right along with their favorite song. That’s what happened for country legend Billy Ray Cyrus at the Old Town Music Festival. Held in Old Town Temecula, California, Cyrus drew a massive crowd for the two-day festival. Other headliners that performed beside the country music legend included The Band Perry, Tyler Farr, Chris Janson, Walker Hayes, and Coffey Anderson.

In a video recap, Billy Ray Cyrus posted a clip of his enthusiastic audience singing his 2019 hit song with Lil Nas X, “Old Town Road.” Since its release, the song has won several awards, including the 2020 Grammy’s for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Song of the Year and the 2019 CMA award for Musical Event of the Year.

In Cyrus’ recent Tweet, he thanks the Old Town Music Festival for “a great night.”

Billy Ray Cyrus’ Style Through the Years

When Lil Nas X released “Old Town Road” on the video-centered social media app, TikTok, in April 2019, no one expected the artist behind “Achy Breaky Heart” to be on the same track. However, the unlikely duo blew the door off cross-genre compilations with their new sound that attracted fans of trap and country music alike.

Just as surprising was Billy Ray Cyrus’ new identity. In the 90s and early 2000s, Cyrus was the face of the mullet. His “business in the front, party in the back” hair seemed to be the staple of his personality and style. The ‘do also marked the period of time when he sung true, heartland country music with songs like “She’s Not Cryin’ Anymore” and “Talk Some.”

However, during the era of the Disney show Hannah Montana, Cyrus adopted a more sentimental, pop-like sound and a Keith Urban-esque hairstyle. Gone were the days of the rebel mullet, and here to stay was the laid-back-dad look. Or so we thought.

But just like his daughter, the country singer had an artistic awakening. And in 2019, a new brand of Billy Ray Cyrus was born.

Cyrus Shocks the Music World with ‘Old Town Road’

Upon first hearing the song “Old Town Road” in 2019, we imagine listeners would have the same kind of reaction.

First, the appreciation: “This song is awesome!”

Then the curiosity: “Is that who I think it is?”

The doubt: “No way that’s Billy Ray Cyrus.”

And then even more appreciation: “This song is awesome!”

On top of his new, gritty, cowboy-gone-rogue sound, Cyrus also sports a new hairstyle. It’s party both in the front and the back now that the country star let his hair grow long. And, paired with his new fashion sense featuring lots of wide-brimmed hats, Cyrus seems to take on a Johnny Depp-like identity in the country realm.

With nods to legend Willie Nelson when he occasionally wears his hair in braids, Cyrus is sending the music world a clear message: Expect the unexpected.