Singer Billy Ray Cyrus was originally slated to make his Broadway debut in musical Chicago this summer (12), but he pushed back the theatre stint so he could work on his memoirs and a new album.

The Achy Breaky Heart hitmaker took to the stage as lawyer Billy Flynn for the first time earlier this month (Nov12), and Cyrus admits he was surprised producers kept his position open as he had refused to step into the role until he was absolutely ready.

He tells The Tennessean, "I'm kind of proud of me because I stood up for me and said, 'No, I can't go pretend I'm Billy Flynn just yet. In my real life, I've got to make this music right now. We let the music evolve into something that, to me, just became much more who I really am as a real person and as an artist.

"I said, 'I'm going to focus on this album and the book and everything else is going to have to find a place around this.' I'll always be first and foremost a singer-songwriter. It's what I really am. All these other things are just things that surrounded that."

Cyrus adds that once takes his final bow on 23 December (12), he'll wrap up his autobiography, titled Hillbilly Heart, which is set for release next year (13).

He adds, "I talk about the good and the bad. I wish I could say there was a lot of good, but my life has been kind of tragic. It goes

back to yellow lines and dead possums. In my life, I've never known the middle. I wish I would have been the centre of an Oreo, just the sweet part. But I've never known that at all."