What a massive change indeed. Walking through Miley Cyrus’ life, one will notice she is not new to change. From sweet Disney’s Hannah Montana star to her iconic Wrecking Ball video, to her philanthropic life, Miley has given us an interesting view of transformation over the years.
With all the evolution she has gone through, she has given us a reason to appreciate the kind of woman she is today. Want to walk through the major points in her life? This article will fill you in on those moments.
9. Miley’s Life as Hannah Montana
After winning the role she did not initially audition for (she auditioned for the role of the main lead’s best friend), she performed really well. In fact, Hannah Montana (2007-2011), was a huge success and was among the highest-rated Disney’s series at the time. Although she was already exposed to the cameras in her early acting days, and her father, Billy Ray Cyprus is a famous country music singer. But, Hannah Montana was where her fame started.
A young girl at the age of 12 acting as a 16-year old with a double life in Hannah Montana was a challenging role. Becoming a role model for young girls for a girl who was still trying to figure her life out might have been a reason for her body image struggles. In a 2015 Marie Claire interview, she said, "I was made to look like someone that I wasn’t, which probably caused some body dysmorphia.'”
Trying to understand began as early as 2007, when she broke up with Nick Jonas. She said, “And then, on the day we broke up, I was like, 'I want to make my hair black now - I don’t want to look pretty; I want to look hard-core.' I was rebelling against everything Nick wanted me to be. And then I was like, 'I’ve got to be by myself for now and just figure out who I really am.'”
8. Can’t Be Tamed
A change in Hannah Montana’s star started showing in her second album in 2008 that was literally named “Breakout.” In 2009, “Party in the U.S.A” was also another view that Hannah Montana’s fans felt different. Not like it was expected that she would be exactly like the character she played, but lots of controversies started setting in.
It was like she had two completely different shades, Hannah Montana, and Miley Cyrus. The problem is that they wear the same face. In 2010, she made another transition from her Disney image. She expresses her feelings in her songs. In the video, she literally breaks free from a cage.
A way of showing the world that she is her own person, and cannot be placed in a cage (people’s views about her, or who she should be). In the lyrics, it was clear when she said, “I want to be a part of something I don’t know. And if you try to hold me back I might explode. I can’t be tamed. I can’t be blamed.” Enough of all those expectations of who she should be. She was not Hannah Montana; she made that clear.
7. Her Shocking Performance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards
Miley, Miley Cyrus! It was already clear that she is not the person she played – Hannah, but twerking on stage? It was not expected and in plain terms, provocative. She performed on stage with her co-performer, Robin Thicke for her new release at the time, “We Can’t Stop.”
She was a hot topic, not only for her performance but also for the use of curvy black female dancers. On the downside, her engagement with her fiancé was called off. Miley did realize something from the whole turmoil – her impact on people.
In a 2018 interview with Wonderland magazine, she stated she realized she could use her influence for so much more. She said, “Not only was culture changed, but my life and career were changed forever. It inspired me to use my platform for something much bigger. If the world is going to focus on me and what I am doing, then what I am doing should be impactful and it should be great.”
6. A Wrecking Ball?
Her split with Liam Helmsworth was expressed in her 2013 famous hit, “Wrecking Ball.” She was almost naked smashing and destroying walls in the music video. This new Miley was as you would expect, backlashed with her Bangerz era (an album which included lots of house party vibes), and her change of tune.
Suddenly, a singer who claimed to have never listened to any of Jay Z’s songs started collaborating, with artists like Wiz Khalifa, and Juicy J. Stepping into the hip hop culture was perceived by lots as cultural appropriation. It was totally different from her previous songs and style. Still, despite all the drama in her life, she was already becoming very popular for her music.
5. Activism Acts
You would not expect this from the way her life was going, would you? In 2014, after her twerking performance in the VMA’s, she came to the 2014 VMA’s diverting the spotlight. She brought a homeless young man, Jesse Helt, as her date, and he even collected her video of the year award for Wrecking Ball, on her behalf.
On stage, Jesse spoke about the cause of raising awareness for homeless youth. It was truly, a noble cause Miley planned. A month later, she founded the Happy Hippie Foundation for the Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender-Queer (LGBTQ) community, homeless youth, and other vulnerable populations. She has been passionate about her non-profit organization ever since.
4. The Host of the 2015 VMAs
Fast forward a year later at the 2015 VMA’s she hosted. Her outfit was mouth-dropping. She wore a silver harness that covered only her nipples, and a skirt dripping down from it like a chandelier.
It was in that same awards that she was called out for in the famous “Miley, What’s Good” phrase. Nicky called out on stage because of the comments Miley made about her being “not too kind” among other comments.
3. Dead Petz Era
This was one amazing era. She released the Dead Petz album – a psychedelic one (involving the use of drugs). In her defense in 2015, she told ET that, "I think people try to make me seem a lot less centered than I am.
I'm who I am and you see what I'm doing ... You make choices and sometimes they're right, sometimes they're wrong in life. Mine are magnified."
In a 2014 interview before then, she told W Magazine, "I love weed … and I just love getting stoned." She is a different person now. Or maybe better put … she is expressing who she truly is. Who she has always been – free, and her own self. She admitted that Dead Petz “isn’t a record for everyone.”
2. Abstinence from Drugs?
Her use of drugs continued and she frequently shares photos of her use on Instagram. She took a break from drug usage to focus on her 2017 album, “Younger Now.” She also admitted in 2018 that her mum reintroduced her to cannabis, but in a more manageable way.
She said to the Sun, "My mom got me back on it. When I’m just working, I don’t think I function at my highest, most intelligent, most being-able-to-be-as-aware-and-as-present, so I don’t smoke when I work."
She also stressed on it on The Tonight Show, telling Jimmy Fallon, “I stopped smoking because to sit here and to talk about what I’m doing. I wanted to be really clear because I’m actually the most passionate about what I’m doing with this record. This record for me at this moment is the most important album that I’ve ever made and so I wanted to make sure I’m super clear about the way I’m talking."
1. Marrying and Divorcing Liam
In March 2016, it was announced that Liam and Miley were once again, engaged. Full of surprises, they secretly got married in December 2018 at their home in Nashville, Tennessee. Liam was clearly the central focus in her different, calmer, country-vibe “Malibu” song.
Their marriage was short-lived, as they got divorced less than a year after they got married. Her life depicts evolution. She is proud of change, and accepts it as they come, regardless of views from people.
She told Harper Bazaar in August’s 2017 magazine, "I think I show people that they can be themselves. I also think something that has been important for me, in this next little, like, transition phase of my career is that I don’t give a f— about being cool. I just want to be myself. People get told that it’s a bad thing to change. You are supposed to change all the time."
Miley Cyrus has been truly revolutionary. Clearly, people wanted her to be who she was not, and she not only rebelled, but she chose to be herself. She explained to Harper’s Bazaar in 2017, “I heard so many comments like, 'We just want Miley back.' But you can’t tell me who that is. I’m right here.”
Her transformation was, boldly to say, necessary, for her to become the woman she is right now. It is truly admirable for her to remain the person she is despite what anyone and everyone thinks.