Musician Billy Ray Cyrus sought to bring words of encouragement — and country music — to Penn State students during a virtual concert on Dec. 11.
To wrap up the fall semester, Penn State’s Student Programming Association hosted Cyrus at 8 p.m. The concert was free for Penn State students.
Cyrus performed in his home with only his guitar and a cowboy hat. He opened up the performance with his song “I Want My Mullet Back.”
Cyrus greeted the Penn Staters watching the event — then moved into his hit song with rap artist Lil Nas X, “Old Town Road.”
He whistled along with the melody to open the song.
Cyrus jokingly said he could hear the viewers singing along — so he decided to do an encore of the song.
Before moving into his next song, Cyrus congratulated his daughter Miley Cyrus on her new album “Plastic Hearts," which was released in late November.
Cyrus also featured some covers throughout the night like Elvis Presley’s “Blue Suede Shoes“ and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Call Me the Breeze.”
Later, Cyrus encouraged students watching to pursue their passions.
“It starts with your mind and being focused,” Cyrus said. “When you set a goal, write it down. When you write something down, you’ve clearly defined it.”
Cyrus said he thinks people should “commit” to their goals — no matter what.
“Failure is just a part of success,” Cyrus said. “Keep on keeping on.”
After discussing his faith and suggesting to “keep the faith,” Cyrus soulfully sang “Amazing Grace.”
Viewers were able to select a username and utilize a live chat feature throughout the concert.
“Can I have your hat, but with your autograph? I would never take it off,” a viewer named “daddy robby ray” said.
Many audience members alluded back to Cyrus’ time on “Hannah Montana" by using some of his catchphrases from the show — like “sweet niblets” and “dang flabbit” — in the chat.
“[I] had no idea how much I needed this before finals,” a viewer named “Lauren” said.
As he began to wrap up his concert, Cyrus sang “Run Run Rudolph” to help spread some Christmas cheer.
Many audience members requested and encore, so Cyrus selected “Workin’ Man Blues” by Merle Haggard and The Strangers.
“Never ever give up,” Cyrus said. “Believe in yourself, believe in your dreams, believe in the people around you and go after your dreams."
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