NEW YORK- Country music star Billy Ray Cyrus is making his singing and dancing stage debut on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning musical "Chicago."

It's a big step indeed for the man who brought us "Achy Breaky Heart," as well as his daughter, Miley Cyrus. For seven weeks, Billy Ray will be playing the ethically challenged lawyer Billy Flynn, a part played by Richard Gere in the film version of "Chicago." His run started Monday and ends Dec. 23.

Set in the 1920s, the musical is a scathing satire of how show business and the media make celebrities out of criminals. It has Bob Fosse-inspired choreography, skimpy outfits and killer songs such as "All That Jazz," "Cell Block Tango" and "Mr. Cellophane."

If it seems that Kentucky-born Cyrus is really out of his element in a jazzy, bluesy musical, he's quick to remind you that he was discovered in the early 1990s playing the Ragtime Lounge in Huntington, W.Va.

"Here I am, in some ways, I'm back to the ragtime, only it's a whole lot bigger and it's in the middle of the center of the universe. It's on Broadway but I'm back to my ragtime roots," he said.


Osbourne chose double mastectomy

Sharon Osbourne says she had a double mastectomy after learning she carries a gene that increases the risk of developing breast cancer. Osbourne told Hello! magazine that "I didn't want to live the rest of my life with that shadow hanging over me." The 60-year-old "America's Got Talent" judge, who had colon cancer a decade ago, said that without the surgery, "the odds are not in my favor." She added: "It's not 'pity me,' it's a decision I made that's got rid of this weight that I was carrying around." The magazine went on sale Monday. Osbourne, husband Ozzy and children Jack and Kelly became rock's most famous clan thanks to reality show "The Osbournes" a decade ago. Jack Osbourne, 26, was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

HELPING JERSEY'S SHORELINE: MTV, home of the "Jersey Shore" reality show, plans to air a fundraising special to help rebuild New Jersey's devastated shoreline. The one-hour program will air Nov. 15 from MTV's Times Square studio in New York City. It will feature the cast of "Jersey Shore" along with other guests. The network said Monday the program will solicit contributions for the rebuilding of Seaside Heights, the heart of the Jersey shore and the principal setting for the "Jersey Shore" series. MTV will partner with Architecture for Humanity, a nonprofit that provides design and construction services to communities in need. Seaside Heights was among numerous coastal areas devastated by Sandy last week.