Enamored of baseball, Cyrus intended to become another Johnny Bench as he grew up in Flatlands, KY. While attending Georgetown College on a baseball scholarship, he bought a guitar and decided immediately that athletics wasn't the proper direction for his life. Instead, he formed a band called Sly Dog with his brother and gave himself a ten-month deadline for finding a place to play. One week prior to that cutoff date, the group went to work as the house band for a club in Ironton, OH, where they remained for two years. When a 1984 fire destroyed the bar -- and Cyrus' equipment -- he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his career. Eventually, he decided to return to Kentucky and commuted regularly from there to Nashville in search of a record deal. Grand Ole Opry star Del Reeves got Mercury Records to take a look, and division head Harold Shedd signed him in the summer of 1990. When his first album came out in mid-1992, Cyrus -- with his good looks, sculpted body, and the infectious "Achy, Breaky Heart" -- became an instant groundbreaking sensation. Spending five weeks at the top of the country charts, "Achy, Breaky Heart" made his debut album, Some Gave All, a blockbuster success. By the time it fell off the charts, it had sold over nine million copies and spent 17 weeks on the top of the pop charts.