12/28/1992 at 01:00 AM EST
Critics sneered, but when Billy Ray Cyrus bared his "Achy Breaky Heart"—along with some he-man pecs and Chippendales-style dance moves—nobody seemed to care much whether the ponytailed country singer was art or artifice. Women swooned, fans danced the Achy Breaky, and cash registers kerchunked Cyrus to superstar status almost overnight. His debut album, Some Gave All, topped the pop charts for an astonishing 17 weeks this summer, enough to propel the former car salesman into two TV specials and a TV movie (all to air in 1993). Even Cyrus seems overwhelmed. "I'm just a man from Flatwoods, Kentucky, who makes music," he says.
And more, apparently. In April a South Carolina woman whom Cyrus dated last year gave birth to his son, Christopher Cody, and in September another ex-lover said that she, too, was pregnant. The singer, who divorced wife Cindy in 1991, vows, "Billy Ray Cyrus will live up to whatever responsibilities he's created."
For now, he's looking ahead to his next album, It Won't Be the Last, which he promises will answer those who called him a one-hit wonder. "I've got a lot more music to make," says Cyrus, 31. "It feels like I'm on a roller coaster zooming down the hill, but it's only the first hill, and I'm in it to ride the ride so, Nashville, hang on."