Billy Ray Cyrus Urges Nashville Residents to 'Help Your Fellow Man' After Deadly Tornado

While much of the world is shutting down over the coronavirus pandemic, Nashville is still reeling from the deadly tornado that devastated parts of the city and surrounding area in the early morning hours of Tuesday, March 3. Billy Ray Cyrus is speaking out about the ongoing recovery efforts, urging residents of Music City to band together to help one another.

"Stay together. Stay strong, and believe in one another," Cyrus said, while on The Kelly Clarkson Show. "You take your time, but help your fellow man. Reach out and do all that you can. The Red Cross certainly is a great way to first of all be able to help in the first step. The first step is just getting back on your feet."

Cyrus also revealed he had an eerie experience only hours before the storms descended on Nashville, one he wouldn't appreciate until later.

"I was in Nashville day of," Cyrus told Kelly Clarkson. "I had been in the studio that day, and the tornado hit that night. Interestingly, that day, I stopped and saw a sign that said, 'Faith is a Verb.' I took a picture of it, not knowing how much the faith was going to be called on later that night. The sign from The Basement East says, 'Believe in Nashville.'

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"We believe in Nashville," he continued. "I believe in Nashville. The people of Nashville are strong. They'll get back up. That's what people in Nashville do. But our thoughts and prayers are with everyone right now with a heavy heart."

Billy Ray Cyrus is nominated for an ACM Award for Music Event of the Year, for "Old Town Road," his collaboration with Lil Nas X.

"It felt like a hit," Cyrus told of the song. "I mean, I just go on instinct. I really don't have a whole lot of talent. I go on instincts, what I feel inside and inside I had this feeling saying 'That's a hit.' And I said, 'I don't know what I can add to it. I like what Lil Nas has going on with it.' But I fell in love with that mandolin. I'm a kid from Eastern Kentucky. I love bluegrass, Bill Monroe, Ricky Skaggs, Earl Scruggs. I mean I love bluegrass.

"When I heard 'Old Town Road,' to me it was bluegrass," he continued. "Even one step behind, like it was outlawed as country music it was even beyond country music, it was bluegrass. And sure it had a different sound, but it was a mandolin with words that meant something. And that's what bluegrass is. And through the genesis and the roots of that, that's how I approached the song."


The 2020 ACM Awards, which were scheduled for Sunday, April 5, have been moved to September, due to coronavirus concerns.

Photo Credit: Getty / Brett Carlsen