The Amazing Life of Miley Cyrus

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The Amazing Life of Miley Cyrus

VOICE OVER: Kirsten Ria Squibb WRITTEN BY: Emily Blair
The life of Miley Cyrus has been an amazing climb. Our countdown includes "Hannah Montana," "The Last Song," "Can't Be Tamed," and more!
Transcript

The Life of Miley Cyrus


Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be looking at the life of singer and actress Miley Cyrus.

Miley Cyrus was born Destiny Hope Cyrus on November 23, 1992 in Franklin, Tennessee. Her mother is actress and producer Tish Cyrus, and her father is country superstar Billy Ray Cyrus of “Achy Breaky Heart” fame. Her happy disposition as a child earned her the nickname “Smiley,” later shortened to Miley, and the name stuck. Dolly Parton, a close friend of the family, became Miley’s godmother and the two maintain a close relationship today.

Cyrus’ career in show business began when her father was filming his television series, “Doc,” in Toronto in 2001. Miley was inspired to start taking acting and singing lessons after seeing a production of “Mamma Mia!”, and landed a role-playing Kylie in “Doc” shortly after. Miley also played Young Ruthie in the 2003 film “Big Fish.” At age eleven, Miley auditioned for the best friend role on the new Disney Channel series, “Hannah Montana.” She was called back to audition for the lead instead and was eventually cast despite originally being considered too young for the role.

The Cyrus family relocated to Los Angeles after Miley was cast in “Hannah Montana,” and shortly after the series premiered, Miley’s fame absolutely skyrocketed. For five years, Cyrus played Miley Stewart and her pop star alter ego Hannah Montana, becoming one of the most famous teen idols in recent history. Cyrus released five albums as her Hannah Montana character and starred in the feature film “Hannah Montana: The Movie,” which included her hit song “The Climb.” Upon turning 18, Cyrus felt herself outgrowing the Hannah Montana role and began distancing herself from her Disney Channel image.

While her work on Disney Channel certainly took up much of Miley’s time during this period of her life, the young artist was also hard at work on her own independent projects. Cyrus starred in the 2008 animated film “Bolt,” as well as the 2010 feature adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ “The Last Song,” during which she began an on-again-off-again relationship with her co-star Liam Hemsworth. Miley also released her own music during this time, including her EP “The Time of Our Lives” which featured the wildly popular hit single “Party in the U.S.A.”

Cyrus hoped her EP, along with her follow-up solo album “Can’t Be Tamed,” would symbolize her distancing herself from her Disney image. Cyrus also focused more on her acting career during this transitional period, appearing in films like “LOL” and “So Undercover.” Her early post-Hannah Montana career was focused on fostering a more mature and slightly edgy image, but Cyrus had yet to fully shake her teen idol status until an eventful trip to the salon in 2012.

Miley shocked the world when she traded her signature long brunette locks for a short blonde pixie cut that represented her complete separation from her Disney Channel image. She became well known for her twerking and hip-hop-inspired music that garnered a lot of attention and controversy. The 2013 VMAs were likely the peak of this controversy as Miley appeared in a flesh-colored bikini and performed suggestive dance moves with Robin Thicke. Shortly after her VMAs performance, Cyrus released her fourth studio album “Bangerz” as the singer fully shifted focus from her acting career to her music career.


Though her “Bangerz” era stirred up plenty of controversy in the media, it wasn’t Cyrus’ first experience with media backlash. A Vanity Fair cover that featured the singer at age 15 appearing to pose topless sparked a conversation in the media about the exploitation of young women in the entertainment industry. Later, at age 18, while she was still appearing on Hannah Montana, a video of Cyrus smoking salvia out of a bong went viral and stirred more controversy. Backlash to this Disney star growing up and changing her image was inevitable, and her godmother Dolly Parton has spoken out in support of Cyrus through these transitional periods of her life.

In 2016, Cyrus began toning down her party-loving public persona when she appeared as a coach on “The Voice” and rekindled her relationship with Liam Hemsworth with an engagement following shortly after. The following year, Miley released her sixth studio album, “Younger Now,” featuring the single, “Malibu.” The album is classified as country-pop and signified Cyrus’ return to her country music roots after her previous foray into hip hop. In 2018, the home Miley shared with her fiance tragically burned down in a wildfire. Cyrus and Hemsworth married in the same year, but separated in 2019. Miley briefly returned to her acting career to appear in the “Black Mirror” episode, “Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too,” which featured themes similar to Miley’s career experiences.

After living through a wildfire and vocal cord surgery in 2019, Cyrus’ voice has changed significantly in the last few years. Her new singing voice lends itself perfectly to her latest style shift into rock music. Many praised her new sound after her cover of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” went viral in 2020, and Cyrus subsequently released her rock album “Plastic Hearts.” The album was received positively by critics and audiences alike, with many looking forward to the future of Cyrus’ work in the coming years.

Also since her surgery, Cyrus has chosen to remain sober from all drugs and alcohol, though she admits to faltering in her sobriety due to the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since her split from Hemsworth, Miley has briefly dated Kaitlynn Carter and Cody Simpson, but isn’t romantically linked to anyone at the moment. She identifies as queer, having previously come out to her mother as pansexual at age 14, and adheres to a pescatarian diet. Since 2014, Cyrus has been the founder of the Happy Hippie Foundation, which aids homeless and LGBTQ+ youth in Los Angeles. After so many years of media backlash and a lack of privacy in her personal matters, it’s refreshing to see this beloved entertainer in such a good place in her career and personal life.
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