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Miley Cyrus

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Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus on 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (cropped).jpg
Cyrus at the 2015 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony
Born Destiny Hope Cyrus
(1992-11-23) November 23, 1992 (age 25)
Franklin, Tennessee, U.S.
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actress
Years active 2003–present
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
Years active 2006–present
Associated acts
Miley Ray Cyrus' signature

Miley Ray Cyrus (born Destiny Hope Cyrus; November 23, 1992) is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. Born and raised in Franklin, Tennessee, she held minor roles in the television series Doc and the film Big Fish in her childhood. Cyrus became a teen idol for her portrayal of the starring character Miley Stewart in the Disney Channel television series Hannah Montana in 2006; her father Billy Ray Cyrus additionally starred in the show. Cyrus subsequently signed a recording contract with Hollywood Records; her debut studio album Meet Miley Cyrus (2007) was certified quadruple-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for exceeding four million shipments. Cyrus released her second album Breakout and launched her film career as a voice actress in the animated film Bolt in 2008.

Cyrus starred in the feature film Hannah Montana: The Movie and began cultivating a maturing image with her EP The Time of Our Lives in 2009. In 2010, she released her third album Can't Be Tamed, which stands as the lowest-selling record of her career, and starred in the coming-of-age film The Last Song. During production of the movie, she began an on-again, off-again relationship with her co-star Liam Hemsworth; they ultimately separated after ending a year-long engagement in 2013. Cyrus focused on her acting career with several television and film appearances in 2011 and 2012. Her sexually explicit behavior generated widespread controversy while promoting her fourth album Bangerz (2013), her first under her recording contract with RCA Records. Cyrus' independently-released fifth studio album Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz (2015) deviated from her traditional pop style for more psychedelic experimentation.

Cyrus has had five number-one records on the U.S. Billboard 200 with Meet Miley Cyrus, Breakout, and Bangerz, and the soundtracks Hannah Montana in 2006 and Hannah Montana: The Movie in 2009. She has logged seven top 10 entries on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 with "See You Again", "7 Things", "The Climb", "Party in the U.S.A.", "Can't Be Tamed", "We Can't Stop" and "Wrecking Ball". The latter track became her first number-one single in the United States. Cyrus' catalog has earned numerous awards and nominations. Cyrus ranked number thirteen on Forbes' Celebrity 100 in 2010,[1] and in 2013 was declared "Artist of the Year" by MTV.[2]

Life and career

1992–2005: Early life and career beginnings

Cyrus was born on November 23, 1992, in Franklin, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville, to Letitia Jean "Tish" (Finley) Cyrus and country singer Billy Ray Cyrus.[3] She grew up on a 500-acre (200 ha) farm in Franklin.[4] Her birth name, Destiny Hope, was derived from her parents' belief that she would accomplish great things, and she was given the nickname "Smiley", later shortened to "Miley", because she often smiled as an infant.[5] She officially changed her name to Miley Ray Cyrus in 2008; her middle name honors her paternal grandfather, Democratic politician Ronald Ray Cyrus, to whom she remained close until his death in 2006.[6] Against the advice of her father's record company,[7] Cyrus's parents secretly married a year after her birth, on December 28, 1993.[8] They had two more children together, son Braison and daughter Noah.[9] Cyrus has elder siblings, Trace and Brandi,[10] and an elder paternal half-brother named Christopher.[8] Christopher grew up with his mother Kristin Luckey in South Carolina.[7] Four of her siblings also eventually entered the entertainment business; Trace as a vocalist and guitarist for the electronic pop band Metro Station,[11] Noah as an actress, Braison as a fashion model, and Brandi as a journalist.[clarification needed][12][13][14] Cyrus's godmother is entertainer Dolly Parton.[15]

Cyrus attended Heritage Elementary School.[16] She was raised Christian and was baptized in a Southern Baptist church prior to moving to Hollywood in 2005.[17] She attended church regularly while growing up and wore a purity ring.[18] In 2001, when Cyrus was eight, she and her family moved to Toronto, Canada while her father filmed the television series Doc.[19] After Billy Ray took her to see a 2001 Mirvish production of Mamma Mia! at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, Cyrus grabbed his arm and told him, "This is what I want to do, daddy. I want to be an actress."[20] She began taking singing and acting classes at the Armstrong Acting Studio in Toronto.[21] In her first role, Cyrus played a girl named Kylie on Doc.[5] In 2003, Cyrus was credited under her birth name for her role as "Young Ruthie" in Tim Burton's Big Fish.[22] During this time, she also auditioned with Taylor Lautner for the feature film The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D and it came down to her and another actress, but Cyrus started doing Hannah Montana instead.[23]

2006: Breakthrough with Hannah Montana

Cyrus in 2007

At age 11, Cyrus learned of the casting for what became Hannah Montana, a Disney Channel children's television series about a schoolgirl with a secret double life as a teen pop star. Cyrus sent in a tape auditioning for its best friend role, but received a call asking her to audition for the lead, Chloe Stewart.[24] After sending in a new tape and flying to Hollywood for further auditions, Cyrus was told that she was too young and too small for the part.[25] However, the series' producers invited her for further auditions in light of her persistence and her singing and acting abilities. The following year, Cyrus received the lead position, renamed Miley Stewart after herself.[26] Hannah Montana premiered on March 24, 2006, to the largest audience for a Disney Channel program,[27] and quickly ranked among the highest-rated series on basic cable, elevating Cyrus's wealth and fame.[28] Its instant success helped propel Cyrus to teen idol status.[22] TIME magazine reports that Cyrus's "phenom[enal]" success is due partially to her talent and partially to "Disney learning to use its vast, multimedia holdings" and market Cyrus and Hannah Montana appropriately.[29] Cyrus eventually became the first artist to have deals in television, film, consumer products, and music within The Walt Disney Company. As Cyrus's career flourished, Cyrus's mother made several important decisions regarding her daughter's representation. She signed Cyrus with Mitchell Gossett, director of the youth division at Cunningham Escott Slevin Doherty. He is credited with "discovering" her after arranging her auditions for Hannah Montana.[30][31]

On the recommendation of Cyrus's godmother, country singer Dolly Parton, Cyrus's mother signed Cyrus with Jason Morey of Morey Management Group for her music career because of their "good morals" that are "not always the case in this business". Franke Swertlow of The Hollywood Reporter described Parton's advice as "the best advice [Tish] could [have gotten] on who should rep her daughter." Cyrus's mother also recruited Cyrus's father's business manager to manage her daughter's finances. Cyrus's mother continued to co-manage and produce many of Cyrus's career decisions.[32] For her education, Cyrus enrolled at Options for Youth Charter Schools[33] and studied with a private tutor on the set of her television show.[34]

The theme song for Hannah Montana, "The Best of Both Worlds", was released on March 28, 2006.[35] The track is credited to "Hannah Montana", the titular pop star that Cyrus portrays. As with other songs credited to Montana, Cyrus typically dressed as the character when performing the song live.[36] It became Cyrus's first charting song, debuting at number 92 on the Billboard Hot 100.[37] The song also had success in countries such as the United Kingdom and Ireland, where it peaked at number 43[38] and 17,[39] respectively. Dressed as Hannah Montana, Cyrus opened for The Cheetah Girls on twenty dates of their The Party's Just Begun Tour, beginning on September 15, 2006.[40] On October 24, Walt Disney Records released the first Hannah Montana soundtrack. Of the nine tracks on the soundtrack performed by Cyrus, eight were credited to "Hannah Montana" and one, a duet with her father titled "I Learned from You", was credited to Cyrus as herself. Cyrus's first release under her own name had been a cover of James Baskett's "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah", released on April 4, 2006, on the fourth edition of DisneyMania.[41] The soundtrack debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 with first week sales of 281,000 copies.[42] The album continued to top the chart during its second week,[43] and has sold over 3.7 million copies worldwide.[44] During this time period, Cyrus also released the song "Ready, Set, Don't Go", a collaboration with her father.[45] It became her first Top 40 hit credited as herself, peaking at number 37 on the Billboard Hot 100.[46] It also became her first Top 10 hit on the Hot Country Songs chart, peaking at number 4.[47]

2007–08: Meet Miley Cyrus and Breakout

The second season of Hannah Montana premiered on April 23, 2007, and ran until October 12, 2008.[48] Shortly afterwards, Cyrus signed a four-album deal with Disney-owned Hollywood Records.[49] The double-disc record Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus was released on June 26, 2007;[50] the first disc served as the soundtrack to the second season of Hannah Montana, while the second acted as Cyrus's debut studio album. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 326,000 copies.[51] It was later certified triple-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.[52] The project spawned Cyrus's debut single as herself, "See You Again", which became her first Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[53] It was eventually certified Platinum in the country, making it her first single to be RIAA certified.[54] The track also had success in countries such as Australia and Canada, where it also peaked inside of the Top 10.[55][56] The follow-up single "Start All Over" was released in early 2008; it failed to match the success of its predecessor, debuting and peaking at number 68 on the Hot 100.[57][58] Numerous songs from the Hannah Montana portion of the album charted worldwide following its release.[59]

Cyrus performing on the Best of Both Worlds Tour

During the fall of 2007, the Best of Both Worlds Tour was launched to promote the joint album. With the Jonas Brothers, Aly & AJ, and Everlife as her opening acts, Cyrus toured from October 17, 2007, to January 31, 2008, with stops in the United States and Canada.[60] Tickets sold out in minutes and were scalped for up to $2,500 and an average of $214, well above their $26–$65 face value.[61] A Ticketmaster official commented that "there [hadn't] been a demand of this level or intensity since The Beatles or Elvis."[62] Upon the conclusion of the tour in January 2008, Walt Disney Pictures released Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert, a 3D concert film of the tour, on February 1, 2008, for what was expected to be a one-week run. The film earned over $31 million[63] at the box office and an average of $42,000 per theater, twice the expected total, convincing Disney executives to extend the release for an indefinite run.[64] The film's soundtrack was released by Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records on April 15, 2008.[65]

In February 2008, Cyrus and her friend Mandy Jiroux opened a YouTube account and began posting videos of what they called The Miley and Mandy Show.[66] In May 2008, Gossett, Cyrus's longtime acting agent, left Cunningham Escott Slevin Doherty for United Talent Agency, partially with the hope of "giving Cyrus the major-agency backing that would support a widening career".[32][67] In June 2009, Cyrus left both Gossett and UTA, which had recently negotiated her deals for The Last Song and the fourth season of Hannah Montana, and joined the Creative Artists Agency, which had already represented her for music.[68] Cyrus celebrated her sixteenth birthday at Disneyland with a charity fundraiser for Youth Service America, a youth volunteer service organization.[69]

In April 2008, several provocative images of Cyrus in her underwear and swimsuit were leaked by a teenage hacker who accessed her Gmail account.[70] Cyrus described the images as "silly, inappropriate shots" and stated, "I am going to make mistakes and I am not perfect. I never intended for any of this to happen and I am truly sorry if I have disappointed anyone".[71] On April 25, 2008, Entertainment Tonight reported that a fifteen-year-old Cyrus had posed topless for a photoshoot taken by photographer Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair.[72] The New York Times later clarified that though the pictures left an impression that she was bare-breasted, Cyrus was wrapped in a bedsheet and was actually not topless.[73]

In a May 2008 interview with The Los Angeles Times, Francois Navarre, the proprietor of the X17 photo agency, said Cyrus's market value had picked up considerably after the Vanity Fair photo controversy: "She's started to sell more. ... It used to be $300, and now it's $2,000 for a picture." Estimates for a picture of the then-15-year-old's first kiss ranged from $30,000 to $150,000. Navarre noted that Cyrus rarely behaved in a manner contrary to her wholesome image or went out without a parent and stated, "She has people waiting for the moment she starts to be less traditional..... It's natural. Any teenager. But it's going to come very fast..... As soon as her mom lets her go out by herself. It's going to start to be interesting."[74] Time magazine included her on the 2008 Time 100, the magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Her write-up was written by former child star Donny Osmond, who warned, "As an idol to tweens the world over, singer-actress Miley Cyrus, 15, is riding a huge tidal wave at the pinnacle of her career; this is as it should be. I hope she enjoys it. ... Within three to five years, Miley will have to face adulthood..... As she does, she'll want to change her image, and that change will be met with adversity."[75] Billboard ranked Cyrus the fourth best-selling female artist of 2009[76] That year, at the age of sixteen, she became the youngest artist to have four number-one albums on the charts.[77]

On July 22, 2008, Cyrus released her second studio album Breakout, which she said was inspired by "what's been going on in my life in the past year."[57] Cyrus co-wrote eight out of twelve songs on the album.[57] "Songwriting is what I really want to do with my life forever..... I just hope this record showcases that, more than anything, I'm a writer."[78] Breakout debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 371,000 copies.[79] In doing so, it gave Cyrus her highest first-week sales to date and her third number-one album on the chart. The album went on to receive a Platinum certification from the RIAA, denoting sales of one million copies.[52] Breakout was preceded by the lead single "7 Things", which became her second single to reach the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100.[80] Its second single "Fly on the Wall" failed to have the same success, peaking at number 84 on the Hot 100.[81] However, it peaked at number 16 in the United Kingdom.[82] Cyrus hosted the 2008 CMT Music Awards with her father in April[83] and the 2008 Teen Choice Awards by herself in August.[84] In 2008, Cyrus provided the voice of Penny in the 2008 computer-animated film Bolt, which was released on November 21, 2008, to critical acclaim.[85] Cyrus also co-wrote and recorded the song "I Thought I Lost You" as a duet with John Travolta for the film, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination.[86]

2009–10: The Time of Our Lives and Can't Be Tamed

In 2009, Cyrus starred in the feature film Hannah Montana: The Movie. Both the film and its soundtrack, which contained twelve songs performed by Cyrus,[87] achieved commercial success.[88][89] Its lead single "The Climb" became a Top 40 hit in twelve countries.[90] Cyrus had considered ending Hannah Montana after its third season, which finished production on June 5, 2009,[91] but Disney retained and exercised its option for a fourth season.[92] In September 2009, she participated in the charity single "Just Stand Up!" in support of the anti-cancer campaign Stand Up to Cancer[93] and in the City of Hope Benefit Concert in support of cancer research and training programs.[94] She also became involved in Disney's Friends for Change, an environmentalist group, for which she recorded the charity single "Send It On" along with several other Disney Channel stars.[95] Shortly afterwards, Cyrus launched the third Hannah Montana soundtrack, which debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 137,000 copies;[96] its single "He Could Be the One" entered the Top 10 of the Hot 100.[55] In March 2009, Cyrus published Miles to Go, a memoir co-written by Hilary Liftin chronicling her life through age sixteen.[97]

Cyrus performing during the Gypsy Heart Tour in 2011

In partnership with Max Azria and Walmart, Cyrus launched her first clothing line in 2009.[98] It was promoted with Cyrus's first extended play The Time of Our Lives on August 31, 2009.[99] Cyrus said The Time of Our Lives "is a transitioning album. ... really to introduce people to what I want my next record to sound like and with time I will be able to do that a little more."[100] The album debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200, with first week sales of 62,000 copies.[101] The following week, however, the album rose to number 2 on the chart, selling 153,000 copies.[102] Its lead single "Party in the U.S.A." debuted at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, making it her highest-charting single up to that point.[103] To promote the album, Cyrus embarked on the Wonder World Tour, which included over 50 shows in the United States, England and Ireland. The tour was critically and commercially successful, grossing over $67.1 million worldwide.[104] On December 7, 2009, Cyrus performed for Queen Elizabeth II and numerous other members of the British Royal Family at the Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool, Lancashire.[105]

Cyrus began transitioning into an adult image in late 2008, when her representatives negotiated a deal for novelist Nicholas Sparks to write the screenplay and novel basis for a film that would serve as a star vehicle for Cyrus by introducing her to audiences older than the young fans she had gained through Hannah Montana. Sparks and co-writer Jeff Van Wie developed The Last Song.[106] Production on The Last Song lasted from June 15, 2009 until August 18, 2009.[107] Cyrus starred in The Last Song, which was released on March 31, 2010 and received generally poor reviews, as did Cyrus's performance.[108] Nonetheless, the film was commercially successful, grossing more than $88 million at the worldwide box office.[109] According to box-office analyst Exhibitor Relations, the film marked "a successful transition to adult roles for Miley Cyrus."[110] The fourth and final season of Hannah Montana began airing on Disney Channel on July 11, 2010, and concluded on January 16, 2011.[111]

During production of these projects, Cyrus began recording her third studio album Can't Be Tamed, and additionally appeared on the charity singles "We Are the World: 25 for Haiti" and "Everybody Hurts" for the 2010 Haiti earthquake.[112][113] The album was released on June 21, 2010,[114] and became her last to be released by Hollywood Records. The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200; with first-week sales of 106,000 copies, it became Cyrus's lowest first-week sales and her first studio album not to peak atop the Billboard 200 chart. The album has sold 343,000 copies in the United States to date, failing to receive an RIAA certification.[115] The album was preceded by the lead single, "Can't Be Tamed" on May 18, 2010, and peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100.[116] The second and final single "Who Owns My Heart" was released in select European countries.[117][118] In September 2010, Cyrus was ranked no. 10 in Billboard's first ever list of "Music's Hottest Minors of 2010".[119] In February 2011, Cyrus confirmed she would be embarking on her Gypsy Heart Tour, which featured no North American dates.[120] Cyrus later explained "Right now I just want to go to the places where I am getting the most love and Australia and South America have done that for me."[121] The tour began April 29, 2011 and concluded on July 2 after 21 shows. Cyrus performed on stadiums and at arenas in South and Central America, Philippines and Australia.[122]

2011–12: Focus on acting

Cyrus on the red carpet at the 38th People's Choice Awards in 2012

Following the release of Can't Be Tamed, Cyrus confirmed she would be taking a break from her music career, opting rather to focus on acting.[123] She commented, "I've not taken, like, acting lessons or anything, but it doesn't mean I don't need to because I'm sure I do ... I'm probably going to go book an acting coach."[124] She later confirmed she would not be going to college for the time being, stating that "[she is] a firm believer that you can go back at any age you want" and "[had] worked hard to get to where [she is] now, and [wants] to enjoy it while it lasts."[125][126] Cyrus hosted Saturday Night Live on March 5, 2011, where she performed in several sketches.[127][128] She later made an appearance on the MTV series Punk'd, appearing alongside Kelly Osbourne and Khloé Kardashian.[129][130] In 2012, Cyrus starred in the film LOL alongside Demi Moore, where Cyrus portrayed Lola.[131] The film received a limited release, and was critically and commercially unsuccessful.[132][133][134] Cyrus later starred in the comedy film So Undercover, appearing as an FBI agent who is required to go undercover at a college sorority.[135] It was also reported on August 2, 2011, by Contact Music that Cyrus has signed on to star in a comedy in which she plays a woman who broke a promise to God.[136] In September 2011, Cyrus was ranked no. 21 in Billboard's list of "Music's Hottest Minors of 2011".[137]

In 2012, Cyrus recorded a cover of the Bob Dylan song "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go", which was featured on the tribute album Chimes of Freedom: Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International.[138] Beginning in 2012, Cyrus recorded various performances of herself doing covers classic songs.[139] She uploaded these performances onto YouTube throughout the summer and fall of 2012. It was later announced that Cyrus would star the film Family Bond, portraying a girl who meets her spy father in an attempt to save her kidnapped mother.[140] That same year, Cyrus made a guest appearance in the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men, appearing in two episodes as Missi, the girlfriend of character Jake Harper.[141] She was also confirmed as a primary voice actress in the feature film Hotel Transylvania, but dropped out of the project to coordinate a musical comeback.[142] On May 31, 2012, Cyrus and Hemsworth became engaged; he proposed to her with a 3.5-carat diamond ring. They had been in an on-again, off-again relationship for 3 years before he proposed.[143] On September 16, 2013, a representative for Cyrus announced after months of media speculation that Cyrus and Hemsworth had decided to call off their engagement; ending their four-year relationship.[144] In September, she was ranked no. 18 in Billboard's list of "Music's Hottest Minors of 2012".[145] In 2012, Cyrus generated considerable media attention after cutting her traditionally long, brown hair in favor of a blonde, pixie-style haircut; she commented that she had "never felt more [herself] in [her] whole life" and that "it really changed [her] life".[146][147]

2013–14: Bangerz

In 2013, Cyrus hired Larry Rudolph as her manager, who had previously worked with Britney Spears.[148] That same year, she left Hollywood Records after signing a recording contract with RCA Records, through which her fourth studio album Bangerz was released in October.[149] "We Can't Stop" was serviced as the lead single from the record on June 3.[150] The track peaked at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100. It also became her first number-one single in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.[151][152] It set a Vevo record after garnering over 10 million views within 24 hours of its release, and later broke the website's record for being the fastest video to reach 100 million views, accomplishing this feat in 37 days.[153]

Cyrus performing on the Bangerz Tour in Vancouver in February 2014

While working on the album, Cyrus appeared in various collaborations. She provided guest vocals for the Rock Mafia song "Morning Sun", and provided background vocals for the song "Decisions" by Borgore.[154] Cyrus and Hemsworth later appeared in the music video for the song.[155] Cyrus appeared on the Snoop Lion song "Ashtrays and Heartbreaks", released as the first single for his album Reincarnated on April 4, 2013.[156] She later appeared on the song "Fall Down",[157] which was released as a promotional single for's album #willpower on April 16, 2013.[158] The single debuted at number 58 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it Cyrus's first single to chart on the Hot 100 since "Can't Be Tamed".[159] The single also debuted inside the Top 20 in Canada,[160] as well as the Top 40 in the UK.[161] On May 23, 2013, it was confirmed that Cyrus would be featured on the Mike Will Made It single "23", alongside artists Wiz Khalifa and Juicy J.[162] She also provided guest vocals on the Lil Twist single "Twerk", which also featured vocals from Justin Bieber.[163] Several additional collaborations saw Cyrus involved with elements of hip hop music.[164]

"Wrecking Ball" was released as the second single from Bangerz. Its accompanying music video was released on September 9, 2013, and set another Vevo record for 19.3 million views in the first twenty-four hours of its release.[165] "Wrecking Ball" became Cyrus's first single to reach number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.[166] In September, she was ranked no. 3 in Billboard's list of "Music's Hottest Minors of 2013".[167] On October 2, 2013, MTV aired the documentary Miley: The Movement, which chronicled the recording of Bangerz and featured behind the scenes footage such as Cyrus preparing for her 2013 MTV Video Music Awards performance.[168][169] On October 5, 2013, Cyrus hosted Saturday Night Live for the second time; she received mostly positive reviews from critics, who generally praised her acting talent and stated the episode was "good but not great" and competent. However, some critics stated that the episode was "lackluster".[170] On November 5, 2013, rapper Future's "Real and True" was released as a single, which featured Cyrus and Mr. Hudson and an accompanying music video premiered five days later on November 10, 2013.[171] On January 29, 2014, she played an acoustic concert show on MTV Unplugged, performing songs from Bangerz and featuring a guest appearance from Madonna.[172] It became the highest rated MTV Unplugged in the past decade with over 1.7 million streams.[173] Cyrus was featured in Marc Jacobs's Spring 2014 ad campaign along with Natalie Westling and Esmerelda Seay Reynolds.[174]

In April 2014, Madonna announced that Cyrus would be the guest curator for the month for Art for Freedom, a global digital initiative designed to fuel free speech – to respond, address and protest persecution and discrimination around the world. Cyrus will collaborate with Madonna to select daily submissions which will be showcased on the Art for Freedom website.[175] In the same month, Time again included her on the Time 100. Her write-up was written by her godmother Dolly Parton who stated, "...the girl can write. The girl can sing. The girl is smart. And she doesn't have to be so drastic. But I will respect her choices. I did it my way, so why can't she do it her way?"[176]

On July 1, 2014, Forbes published a list of the most powerful celebrities of the moment, Cyrus placed at #17, ahead of Mariah Carey and Taylor Swift, they stated that her earnings are around $36 million and that "Cyrus returns to the Forbes Celebrity 100 after a four-year absence. The last time she made our list was when she was still rolling in Hannah Montana money. Now the pop singer is all grown up and courting controversy at every turn."[177] In August 2014, it was reported that Bluewater Productions has documented her life into a comic book called "Fame: Miley Cyrus", starting with her controversial 2013 MTV Video Music Awards performance to her Disney fame and exploring her childhood in Tennessee.[178] The comic book has been written by Michael L. Frizell and drawn by Juan Luis Rincón, and is available in both print and digital formats.[179] In the same month, Cyrus was confirmed to be performing on the live series finale of Chelsea Lately where she will be singing a cover of Roy Orbison's "It's Over."[180] In October Cyrus appeared on The Flaming Lips album With a Little Help from My Fwends, released on October 27, 2014, singing lead vocals on a cover version of The Beatles' "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and singing Paul McCartney's part on the version of "A Day in the Life".[181] The Guardian review of the album states that "the most mind-blowing moments come from Miley Cyrus, who sings "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and the middle section of "A Day in the Life" deadpan – and in doing so takes them to another dimension".[182]

2015–present: Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz

Cyrus first discussed plans for her fifth studio album during the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, stating that since her emphasis was "about music [and is] not about twerking", she would "work on it until I'm done" and that it "might take me five years" to complete.[183] By January 2015, however, Cyrus had been working on the record nearly every day and wanted "to get this stuff out ASAP."[184] She first mentioned the possibility of releasing a free album during an interview with Marie Claire in August 2015, with her manager adding that Cyrus was "prepared to buy herself out of the label" if RCA Records did not cooperate with the plan. That month, reports surfaced that Cyrus was working on two albums simultaneously, and was leaning towards releasing her partner project with The Flaming Lips for free.[185] Wayne Coyne compared his collaborative material with Cyrus to the catalogs of Pink Floyd and Portishead, and described their sound as being "a slightly wiser, sadder, more true version" of Cyrus' pop music output.[186] On the red carpet for the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards on August 30, which she hosted, Cyrus commented that "it's been kind of the most magical week of my life [...] It feels like Christmas." She closed the night with a previously-unannounced performance of the track "Dooo It!" with Coyne before announcing to the audience that her fifth studio album Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz was available for free online streaming.[187]


Musical style and influences

Cyrus performing "Party in the U.S.A." as part of her 2009 Wonder World Tour

Cyrus is commonly recognized as a pop artist. Common Sense Media described the songs from the same album as being "upbeat" and "girl-power" oriented, citing the lyrics to "I Got Nerve" as a prime example.[188] CinemaBlend compared the songs from Hannah Montana 2 to songs released by Avril Lavigne and Hilary Duff.[189] The music found on the second disc of the album, though intended to be seen as Cyrus's solo debut, were often noted as being similar in theme and style to that of Hannah Montana songs.[190][191] With the release of her second studio album Breakout, Cyrus began to distance herself from the sound featured on her soundtrack appearances.[192] The album is noted as featuring a wide variety of genres when compared to previous works by the artist.[193] The song "Fly on the Wall", taken from Breakout, is noted as featuring electropop influences in its production, while the song "These Four Walls" is seen as featuring country aspects.[194]

The music taken from the soundtrack of the Hannah Montana movie features a more Country themed sound, in conjunction with the film's plot. The song "Hoedown Throwdown" taken from the film is noted as combining influences of R&B and Country.[195] With the release of Cyrus's 2009 album The Time of Our Lives, Cyrus incorporated a mixture of elements into the songs. "Kicking and Screaming" features instrumentation that relies on glam electric guitar riffing.[196] It is noted as being the most prominent representation of rock music on The Time of Our Lives. The song "Party in the U.S.A." features a mixture of R&B and pop music,[197] while the album's title track is described as being a bouncy, dance-pop song characterized by 1980s synths[198] and a fizzy sound caused by a bubblegum pop background.[196] The music featured on Can't Be Tamed is often noted as being of the dance genre and heavily relies on bass.[199] When speaking about Bangerz (2013), Cyrus stated she felt the album had a "dirty south" feel.[200] Miguel and Frank Ocean were named as musical influences for Bangerz.[201]


Cyrus is a contralto,[202] and with a "Nashville twang" in both her speech and singing voice.[128] Songs such as "These Four Walls" have been noted as prime examples of Cyrus's twangy vocals.[203][204] In her song "Goodbye", Cyrus's vocal performance is more "roosty" with a more "natural-sounding accompaniment"[205] In "Party in the U.S.A.", Cyrus's vocals feature belter refrains.[206] Cyrus's vocals for the song "Obsessed" are noted as being "husky."[207] Throughout her career, Cyrus has experimented with altering her voice. Songs such as "Fly on the Wall" see Cyrus's voice processed to sound different.[208] In "The Time of Our Lives", Cyrus's vocals display a prominent use of auto-tune, and are influenced by new wave music.[207] The songs taken from her Can't Be Tamed album further explore the use of auto-tune on Cyrus's vocals. The album's title track is noted as using auto-tune throughout various portions of the song's lyrics.[209] When reviewing the Wonder World Tour, Dave Paulson of The Tennessean stated "Cyrus' spectacle sets her apart from nearly every other A-list act touring today. She's not a renowned vocalist by any stretch, but her show's choreography barely provides a moment for her to catch her breath, and she's still able to deliver."[210]


Cyrus performs at the "Kids Inaugural: We Are the Future" concert in Washington, D.C. in January 2009

In his review of the Best of Both Worlds tour, J. Freedom du Lac of The Washington Post described the concert as "a nearly 90-minute blast of pop in which the charismatic Cyrus – who complained that she wasn't feeling well – commanded the stage with confidence, performing with a particular swagger."[211] When performing a cover of "I Love Rock & Roll" on the tour, Cyrus performed the song suspended in the air atop of a Harley-Davidson Dyna Fat Bob FXDF 2010 that traveled through the air.[212] Beginning with the release of The Time of Our Lives, Cyrus's performances became somewhat more explicit and controversial in nature. Cyrus's performance of "Party in the U.S.A." at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards incited a media uproar, with some viewers criticizing Cyrus's provocative outfit and inclusion of a brief pole dance as inappropriate for her age, then sixteen, and for her young fans.[213] Conversely, Newsday reported that her sexualization "has been coming for some time."[214] Ian Drew, senior editor of US Weekly, said, "She already has this risque image, so it really wasn't much of a stretch. That's how Britney [Spears] took off. She was the good girl gone bad, and it looks to be working for Miley as well."[214] Her performance of Can't Be Tamed on Britain's Got Talent garnered much controversy. Midway through the performance, Cyrus grabbed a female backup dancer, dipping her low, and simulated a kiss. The performance was met with negative reactions from the media and caused her to release a statement in which Cyrus promised she did not kiss the backup dancer. Cyrus wrote, "It is ridiculous that two entertainers can't even rock out with each other without the media making it some type of story. I really hope my fans are not disappointed in me because the truth is I did nothing wrong. I got up there and did my job which is to perform to the best of my ability."[215]

In August 2013, Cyrus was the subject of widespread media attention and public scrutiny following a controversial performance and duet with Robin Thicke at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. The performance began with Cyrus performing "We Can't Stop" in teddy bear–themed attire. Following this, Thicke entered the stage singing "Blurred Lines" alternatively with Cyrus, who stripped down to a skin-colored, latex two-piece outfit. Cyrus subsequently touched Thicke's crotch area with a giant foam finger and twerked against his crotch.[216][217] Shortly thereafter, the word "twerk" was added to the online version of the Oxford Dictionary of English after her MTV VMA performance.[218] An article published in The Hollywood Reporter described the performance as "crass" and "reminiscent of a bad acid trip".[219] Cyrus's performance was described by XXL critic B. J. Steiner as a "trainwreck in the classic sense of the word as the audience reaction seemed to be a mix of confusion, dismay and horror in a cocktail of embarrassment",[220] while the BBC said she stole the show with a "raunchy performance".[221] The performance also became the most tweeted about event in history, with Twitter users generating 360,000 tweets about the event per minute; breaking the previous record held by Beyoncé's Super Bowl XLVII halftime show performance six months earlier.[222] News and social media sites featured numerous articles about parental concerns with the performance's impact on children.[223] Cyrus's performance was accused of contributing towards the dehumanization of black women by mimicking "ratchet culture" and using them as living props, swatting one on the backside.[224] Reacting to the controversy, Cyrus stated about her critics: "They're overthinking it. You're thinking about it more than I thought about it when I did it."[225]

In September 2014, Cyrus spat on her fans in Mexico and was later fined for misusing the Mexican flag.[226][227]

Personal life

Health issues

Cyrus was born with tachycardia, which is a resting heart rate exceeding normal.[228][229] In early 2014, Cyrus suffered an allergic reaction to the antibiotic Cephalexin, prescribed to her to treat a sinus infection.[230] Due to the allergy, Cyrus was hospitalized at a Kansas City hospital.[231]

Relationships and identities

Cyrus came out as pansexual to her mother when she was 14,[232][233] and has said that "I never want to label myself! I am ready to love anyone that loves me for who I am! I am open."[234] In June 2015, Time reported that she also identifies as gender fluid.[235]

Cyrus had a two-year relationship with actor Tyler Posey.[236][237] Cyrus has stated that she dated singer and actor Nick Jonas from June 2006 to December 2007.[238] Cyrus claimed they were "in love" and began dating soon after they first met.[239] While filming The Last Song in June 2009, Cyrus began a relationship with her co-star Liam Hemsworth, whom she called her "first serious boyfriend".[240] After three years of having an on-again, off-again relationship, the couple announced their engagement in June 2012 but ended their relationship in September 2013.[241] From December 2014 to April 2015, Cyrus had a relationship with actor Patrick Schwarzenegger.[242]


Throughout her career, Cyrus has participated in several charity singles such as Just Stand Up!, Send It On, Everybody Hurts and We Are the World 25 for Haiti.[243][244][245][246] Cyrus has visited several sick fans in hospitals throughout the years.[247][248] Cyrus is an avid supporter of City of Hope, having attended benefit concerts in 2008, 2009 and 2012.[249][250][251] In 2008 and 2009, during her "Best of Both Worlds Tour" and "Wonder World Tour", for every concert ticket sold, she donated one dollar to the organization.[252] Cyrus celebrated her 16th birthday at Disneyland by delivering a $1 million donation from Disney to Youth Service America.[253] In July 2009, Cyrus performed at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation's 20th annual "A Time for Heroes" Celebrity Picnic[254] and donated several items including autographed merchandise and a script from Hannah Montana for the Ronald McDonald House Auction.[255]

Cyrus supports charities such as the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Entertainment Industry Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, United Service Organizations, Youth Service America, and Music for Relief.[256][257][258][259][260][261] In February 2010, she donated several items including the dress she wore to the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards and two tickets to the Hollywood premiere of her movie The Last Song to raise money for the victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.[262]

In January 2011, Cyrus met an ailing fan with Spina bifida with the charity Kids Wish Network.[263] In April 2011, she appeared in a commercial for "Red Cross" asking people to pledge $10 to help those affected by the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami.[264] In the same year Hilary Duff presented Cyrus with the first ever Global Action Youth Leadership Award at the 1st Annual Global Action Awards Gala due to her support of Blessings in a Backpack, an organization that works to feed hungry children at schools, as well as her personal Get Ur Good On campaign with the Youth Services of America. Cyrus stated "I want (kids) to do something they love. Not something that seems like a chore because someone tells them that's the right thing to do or what their parents want or what's important to people around them, but what's in their heart."[265][266] In December 2011, she appeared in a commercial for the charity J/P Haitian Relief Organization and teamed up with her elder brother Trace Cyrus to design a limited edition T-shirt and hoodie for charity. All proceeds from the sale of these items went towards her charity, "Get Ur Good On", which supports education for under-privileged children.[267][268] In the same month, she performed her song "The Climb" at the "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute" at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.[269]

In 2012, Cyrus released a cover of "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go" by Bob Dylan for the charity Amnesty International as a part of the album Chimes of Freedom.[270] She also appeared in a commercial for Rock the Vote campaign which encourages young people to make their voices heard.[271] For her 20th birthday, activists at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals adopted a pig called Nora, in Miley's name.[272][273]

She additionally supports 39 well-known charities, including Make-a-Wish Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, To Write Love on Her Arms, NOH8 Campaign, Love Is Louder Than the Pressure to Be Perfect and The Jed Foundation, among several others.[274][275][276] In 2013, Miley was named the 14th most charitable celebrity of the year by Do Something[277] as well as appeared alongside Justin Bieber and Pitbull in a television special entitled "The Real Change Project: Artists for Education".[278] On July 26, 2014, it was announced that Cyrus would appear alongside Justin Timberlake at an HIV/AIDS charity event in the White House.[279]

At the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, Jimmy Fallon announced that Cyrus was the winner of the Video of the Year award for her song "Wrecking Ball". Instead of accepting the award herself, she sent on stage a man by the name of Jesse, a homeless 22-year-old that Cyrus met at My Friend’s Place, an organization that helps homeless youth find shelter. His acceptance speech encouraged musicians to learn more about homeless youth in Los Angeles and what they can do to help at Cyrus's Facebook page.[280] Cyrus then launched a Prizeo campaign to raise funds for the charity My Friend's Place, an organization in Los Angeles that helps homeless people from the ages of 12 to 25 find housing, jobs, health care and schooling. Those who made donations were automatically entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to hang out with Cyrus on her Bangerz tour in Rio de Janeiro that September.[281]

Public image and wealth

Cyrus performing at the Kids Inaugural: We Are the Future concert in 2009

In 2010, Cyrus identified as a Christian. She was baptized in a Southern Baptist church in 2005.[17] In 2012, Cyrus tweeted a quote from Lawrence Krauss in which he mentions the death of stars and said "forget Jesus", leading to many questioning her faith. She defended herself, faith and science by quoting Albert Einstein's statement that "Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind."[282] In a 2015 interview for Paper, Cyrus called fundamentalist lawmakers' literalistic interpretation of the Bible "fucking insane".[283] Cyrus is an avid supporter of gay rights, and is often vocal about her beliefs on the topic. In 2012, she named London as her favorite place to perform due to its extensive gay scene.[284] Cyrus's song "My Heart Beats for Love", taken from her Can't Be Tamed album, was written about one of Cyrus's gay friends,[285] and is dedicated to all of Cyrus's gay fans.[286] Cyrus also has an equals sign tattooed on her ring finger in support of same-sex marriage.[287] Cyrus also considers herself a feminist.[288] Cyrus identifies as genderfluid, having said that she "[doesn't] relate to being boy or girl, and I don't have to have my partner relate to boy or girl."[283]

In May 2013, Maxim ranked Cyrus first in their Hot 100 of the year.[289]

In several interviews Cyrus has mentioned her use of cannabis.[290] However, rumors addressing her use of cannabis before 2013 were denied. In a video obtained by The Daily, taking place at Cyrus's 19th birthday party at the Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, Cyrus went to the microphone and addressed the crowd. Immediately after her Bob Marley-themed birthday cake had been brought out, Cyrus said, "You know you're a stoner when your friends make you a Bob Marley cake. You know you smoke way too much fuckin' weed." Cyrus's representative later stated that the Bob Marley cake had just been a "joke" and that Cyrus's response had been "sarcastic".[291] In a 2013 Rolling Stone interview, Cyrus said cannabis was "the best drug on earth" and called it, along with MDMA, a "happy drug".[292] On November 10, 2013, while accepting the Best Video award at the 2013 MTV Europe Music Awards, Cyrus smoked what appeared to be a joint on stage, which was removed from the delayed broadcasting of the program in the United States.[293] In a 2014 interview with W, Cyrus stated "I love weed" and "I just love getting stoned."[294]

Cyrus was chosen by Time as one of their finalists for Person of the Year in November 2013.[295] She came in third place with 16.3% of the vote.[296] In March 2014, Skidmore College, New York started offering a special topics sociology course entitled "The Sociology of Miley Cyrus: Race, Class, Gender and Media" which was "using Miley as a lens through which to explore sociological thinking about identity, entertainment, media and fame".[297]

In 2007, Cyrus earned $18 million. In 2008, Cyrus earned $25 million and was ranked number 35 on Forbes magazine's Celebrity 100 list.[298] Parade magazine reported she was the richest teenage celebrity and that her franchise would be worth approximately $1 billion by the end of the year.[299] In 2009, Forbes ranked her No. 29 on the Celebrity 100 and reported she had earned a total of $25 million.[300] In 2010, Forbes ranked her at 13 on their Celebrity 100, earning $48 million[301] from June 2009 to June 2010. She was the 4th highest earner under 30 years old and the youngest on the list.[302] From working on Hannah Montana, Cyrus was paid $15,000 per episode, making her the sixth-highest paid child star on television, behind fellow Disney stars Dylan and Cole Sprouse and Keke Palmer with $20,000 for their shows.[303] At age 17 she was named No. 19 on the "Top 20 World's Richest Female Singers of All Time" list, with over $100 million in earnings in five years, which made her the youngest female artist on the list.[304] In 2011, she was named No. 1 on the Top 10 Richest Teens in Hollywood, with $120 million.[305]

On May 30, 2014, while Cyrus was overseas on tour, her Los Angeles home was burgled and jewelry along with her Maserati worth $102,500 was stolen. This was the second time Cyrus's house had been burgled, the first having been in November 2013.[306][307]

PETA named Cyrus the "Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity of 2015."[308]

Also in 2015, Cyrus was listed as one of the nine runners-up for The Advocate's Person of the Year.[309]

Some of the lyrics to songs on Cyrus' 2015 Dead Petz album reference Tibetan Buddhism, for example, The milky, milky milk / Your lips get me so wet / While I’m singing all the verses from the Tibetan Book of the Dead. [310]




Written works

See also


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Further reading

External links