Billy Ray Cyrus: Country Radio Says New Single Is ‘Too Country’
Billy Ray Cyrus says country radio's tepid response to his new single, "Chevys and Fords," is because the song is actually too country for the trends that are popular at the moment.
Cyrus released "Chevys and Fords" as his first single since the massive success of "Old Town Road," on which he collaborated with Lil Nas X. That song smashed chart records and became a phenomenon, and the veteran hitmaker was hopeful that his new single, which is a collaboration with Johnny McGuire, would benefit from the career resurgence. But when the song went for adds at country radio, only six Mediabase reporting stations added the song to their playlists. Cyrus says someone from his label team told him about the "too country" comments during a meeting at which he learned the song was struggling for adds.
“The natural response was, ‘What are they saying?’" Cyrus tells Rolling Stone Country. "One of the [radio] consultants said they deemed it ‘too country for the format right now.’ Can you imagine?"
Country radio also rejected "Old Town Road," though it still sold well enough to set a new record for the longest run at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100. Cyrus says he was in disbelief when he heard about the uphill fight "Chevys and Fords" was facing, and the reasoning behind it.
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“I had to hit myself in the head and go, ‘What the f--k did I just hear?’ This truly was my WTF moment,” he states.
Cyrus responded to the news by writing a new song called "Too Country," which he says he can't wait for country radio programmers to hear. He wasn't sure he'd ever write another song, but he says was so inspired by "Too Country" that he knew he had to record it.
“I was singing this hook and it sounded so good, that I said, ‘By God, if they think ‘Chevys and Fords’ is too country, wait until they hear this,'" he shares.
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