Miley Ray Cyrus (born Destiny Hope Cyrus; November 23, 1992) is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. After playing minor roles in the television series Doc and the film Big Fish in her childhood, she became a teen idol starring as the character Miley Stewart on the Disney Channel television series Hannah Montana in 2006. Her father Billy Ray Cyrus also starred on the series, which aired for four seasons until 2011.
Cyrus launched her film career as a voice actress in the animated film Bolt (2008), and later starred in the feature films Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009) and the coming-of-age filmThe Last Song (2010). Of her television credits, she was the host of the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards and has hosted Saturday Night Live three times since her first appearance in 2011. Cyrus has also been featured as a coach on the singing competition television series The Voice, and has appeared in two seasons of the show since her debut in 2016. Cyrus' image has been the subject of significant media commentary and public controversy, including the transition from her wholesome image to a highly-sexual persona in the early 2010s. She has earned numerous awards and nominations, was recognized as "Artist of the Year" by MTV in 2013, and was included on the Time 100 list of the most influential people in 2008 and 2014. Cyrus is an outspoken animal rights advocate and adopted a vegan lifestyle in 2013.
Destiny Hope Cyrus was born November 23, 1992, in Franklin, Tennessee, to Tish Cyrus (née Leticia Jean Finley) and singer Billy Ray Cyrus. Cyrus was born with supraventricular tachycardia, a condition which causes an abnormal resting heart rate. Her birth name, Destiny Hope, expressed her parents' belief that she would accomplish great things. She was nicknamed "Smiley", later shortened to "Miley", because she often smiled as an infant. She changed her name to Miley Ray Cyrus; her middle name honors her grandfather, Democratic politician Ronald Ray Cyrus.
Against the advice of her father's record company, Cyrus's parents secretly married on December 28, 1993, a year after her birth. They had two more children together, son Braison and daughter Noah. From previous relationships, her mother has two other children, Trace and Brandi, Her father has a son named Christopher, who grew up with his mother, Kristin Luckey, in South Carolina. Four of her siblings eventually entered the entertainment business: Trace as a vocalist and guitarist for the electronic pop band Metro Station, Noah as an actress and singer, Braison as a fashion model, and Brandi as a journalist. Cyrus's godmother is entertainer Dolly Parton.
Cyrus attended Heritage Elementary School. While working on Hannah Montana, she enrolled at Options for Youth Charter Schools and studied with a private tutor on set. Raised a Christian, she was baptized in a Southern Baptist church before moving to Hollywood in 2005. She attended church regularly while growing up and wore a purity ring. In 2001, when Cyrus was eight, she and her family moved to Toronto, Ontario, Canada while her father filmed the television series Doc. 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." She began taking singing and acting classes at the Armstrong Acting Studio in Toronto.
In her first role, Cyrus played a girl named Kylie in the television series Doc. In 2003, Cyrus was credited under her birth name for her role as "Young Ruthie" in Tim Burton's Big Fish. During this period she auditioned with Taylor Lautner for the feature film The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D, and although she was one of two actresses remaining, she started doing Hannah Montana instead. Tish Cyrus became Miley's manager, and worked to acquire a team to help her career flourish. Cyrus signed with Mitchell Gossett, director of the youth division at Cunningham Escott Slevin Doherty. Gossett is often credited with "discovering" Cyrus, and played a key role in her auditioning for Hannah Montana. She later signed with Jason Morey of Morey Management Group to handle her music career, having been directed to him by Dolly Parton. Billy Ray's finance manager was hired as well.
2003–2009: Hannah Montana and early musical releases
Cyrus auditioned for the Disney Channel television series Hannah Montana when she was eleven years old. She auditioned for the role of the title character's best friend, but was called to audition for the lead role instead. Despite being denied the part at first because she was too "young and small" for the role, she was selected later as the lead because of her singing and acting abilities. The series premiered in March 2006 to the largest audience for a Disney Channel program, and quickly ranked among the highest-rated series on basic cable. The instant success of the series led to Cyrus being labeled a "teen idol". She toured with The Cheetah Girls as Hannah Montana in September 2006, performing songs from the show's first season.Walt Disney Records released a soundtrack credited to Cyrus' character in October of that year. The record was a commercial success, topping the Billboard 200 chart in the United States; it went on to sell over three million copies worldwide. With the release of the soundtrack, Cyrus became the first act within The Walt Disney Company to have deals in television, film, consumer products, and music. She had a two-year relationship with actor Tyler Posey. Cyrus has stated that she dated singer and actor Nick Jonas from June 2006 to December 2007, claiming they were "in love" and began dating soon after they first met. Her relationship with Jonas, as well as her "spoofing" fellow Disney alums Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato, attracted considerable media attention.
Cyrus performs at Auburn Hills during the Wonder World Tour, 2009
Cyrus signed a four-album recording contract with Hollywood Records to distribute her non-Hannah Montana soundtrack music. She released the two-disc album Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus in June 2007. The first disc was credited as the second soundtrack by "Hannah Montana", while the second disc served as Cyrus' debut studio album. The album became her second to reach the top of the Billboard 200, and has sold over three million copies since its release. Months after the release of the project, "See You Again" (2007) was released as the lead single from the album. The song was a commercial success, and has sold over two million copies in the United States since its release. She then collaborated with her father on the single "Ready, Set, Don't Go" (2007). Cyrus embarked on her highly successful Best of Both Worlds Tour (2007–08) to promote its release.Ticketmaster officials commented that "there [hadn't] been a demand of this level or intensity since The Beatles or Elvis". The tour's success led to the theatrical release of the 3D concert film Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert (2008). While initially intended to be a limited release, the film's success led to a longer run.
Cyrus and friend Mandy Jiroux began posting videos on the popular website YouTube in February 2008, referring to the clips as "The Miley and Mandy Show"; the videos garnered a large online following. In April 2008, several images of Cyrus in her underwear and swimsuit were leaked by a teenage hacker who accessed her Gmail account. Further controversy arose when it was reported that Cyrus, then fifteen, had posed topless during a photo shoot with Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair.The New York Times later clarified that although the pictures left the impression that she was bare-breasted, Cyrus was wrapped in a bed sheet and was not topless.
Cyrus went on to release her second studio album, Breakout (2008), in June of that year. The album boasted the highest first week sales of her career thus far, and became her third to top the Billboard 200. Cyrus later starred with John Travolta in the animated film Bolt (2008), her debut as a theatrical actress. The film was a critical and commercial success earning her a Golden Globe nomination.
In March 2009, Cyrus released "The Climb" (2009) as a single from the soundtrack to the Hannah Montana feature film. It was met with a warm critical and commercial reaction, becoming a crossover hit in both pop and country music formats. The soundtrack, which features the single, went on to become Cyrus' fourth entry to top the Billboard 200; this made her, at sixteen, the youngest performer in history to have four number one albums on the chart. She released her fourth soundtrack as "Hannah Montana" in July 2009, which debuted at number two on the Billboard 200. Cyrus later launched her first fashion line, Miley Cyrus and Max Azria, through Walmart. It was promoted by the release of "Party in the U.S.A." (2009) and the EPThe Time of Our Lives (2009). Cyrus said the album was "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". "Party in the U.S.A." went on to become one of Cyrus' most successful singles to date, and is considered one of her signature songs. She next embarked on her first world tour, the Wonder World Tour (2009), which was a critical and commercial success. On December 7, 2009, Cyrus performed for Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the British Royal Family at the Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool, Lancashire.
Billboardranked her as the fourth, best-selling female artist of 2009.
2010–2012: Can't Be Tamed and focus on acting
Hoping to foster a more mature image, Cyrus starred in the film The Last Song (2010), based on the Nicholas Sparks novel. It garnered a generally negative critical reaction, though it was a box office hit. While filming, she began a romantic relationship with her co-star, Liam Hemsworth. Cyrus further attempted to change her image with the release of her third studio album, Can't Be Tamed (2010). The album featured a more dance-oriented sound than her prior releases, and caused a considerable amount of controversy because of its lyrical content and Cyrus' live performances. It sold 106,000 copies in its first week of release, and became her first studio album not to top the Billboard 200 chart in the United States. Due to the controversy surrounding the release, the album's second, and final single, "Who Owns My Heart" was released solely in select European territories. Cyrus released her final soundtrack as "Hannah Montana" that October; it was a commercial failure. Cyrus' decline in sales for these releases was attributed to her controversial image.
Cyrus performs during her Gypsy Heart Tour in São Paulo, 2011
Cyrus was the center of more controversy when a video posted online in December 2010 showed a then eighteen Cyrus smoking salvia with a bong. 2010 ended with her ranked number thirteen on Forbes'Celebrity 100 list.
She embarked on her worldwide Gypsy Heart Tour (2011) in April, which featured no North American dates. Cyrus cited her various controversial moments as the reason behind this, claiming she only wanted to travel where she felt "the most love". Following the release of Can't Be Tamed, Cyrus officially parted ways with longtime record label Hollywood Records. With Hannah Montana now officially over, Cyrus announced that she planned to take a hiatus from music to focus on her film career. 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." 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 that she "[had] worked hard to get to where [she is] now, and [wanted] to enjoy it while it lasts".
Cyrus hosted the March 5, 2011, episode of Saturday Night Live, during which she performed in a number of skits and poked fun at her recent controversies. She later made an appearance on the MTV series Punk'd, appearing with Kelly Osbourne and Khloé Kardashian. Cyrus starred in the independent film LOL (2012) with Demi Moore. The film had a limited release, and was critically and commercially unsuccessful. She then starred in the comedy film So Undercover, appearing as an FBI agent who is required to go undercover at a college sorority. It was also reported on August 2, 2011, by Contact Music that Cyrus had signed on to star in an untitled comedy in which she plays a woman who breaks a promise to God. It was later announced that Cyrus would star in the film Family Bond, portraying a girl who tracks down her estranged spy father in an attempt to save her kidnapped mother.
Cyrus released a string of live performances known as the Backyard Sessions through YouTube during the spring and summer of 2012; the performances were of classic songs that Cyrus personally liked. Having begun working on a failed fourth album the previous year, Cyrus resumed working on a new musical project in late 2012. She collaborated with producers Rock Mafia on their song "Morning Sun" (2012), which was made available for free download online. She had previously appeared in the music video for their debut single, "The Big Bang" (2010). Cyrus later provided guest vocals on "Decisions" (2012) by Borgore. Both Cyrus and Hemsworth appeared in the music video for the track. She went on to appear as Missi in two episodes of the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men. She was also confirmed as a primary voice actress in the feature film Hotel Transylvania, but dropped out of the project to coordinate her musical comeback. On May 31, it was announced that Cyrus and Hemsworth were engaged following a nearly three-year, on-again, off-again relationship. Cyrus generated considerable media attention after cutting her traditionally long, brown hair in favor of a blonde, pixie cut; she commented that she had "never felt more [herself] in [her] whole life" and that "it really changed [her] life".
2013–2015: Bangerz and Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz
Cyrus released her new single "We Can't Stop" on June 3. Touted as her comeback single, it went on to become a worldwide commercial success, topping the charts in territories such as the United Kingdom. The song's music video set the VEVO record for most views within twenty-four hours of release, and became the first to reach 100 million views on the site. Cyrus performed with Robin Thicke at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, a performance that resulted in widespread media attention and public scrutiny. Her simulated sex acts with a foam finger were described as "disturbing", and the whole performance as "cringe-worthy". Cyrus released "Wrecking Ball" (2013) as the second single from Bangerz on the same day as the VMAs. The song became an instant hit, and its accompanying music video showing her swinging naked on a wrecking ball was viewed over nineteen million times within its first day of release. The single became Cyrus' first single to top the Hot 100 chart in the United States having sold over two million copies.
After months of media speculation, on September 16, 2013, a representative for Cyrus announced that she and Hemsworth had decided to call off their engagement, ending their four-year relationship. On October 2 MTV aired the documentary Miley: The Movement, which chronicled the recording of her fourth studio album Bangerz, which was released on October 4. It was a commercial success, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 with first week sales of 270,000 copies. On October 5, Cyrus hosted Saturday Night Live for the second time; she received mostly positive critical reviews which called the episode "good but not great". On November fifth, rapper Future's "Real and True" was released as a single featuring Cyrus and Mr. Hudson; an accompanying music video premiered five days later on November 10, 2013. In late 2013 she was declared Artist of the Year by MTV. On January 29, 2014, she played an acoustic concert show on MTV Unplugged, performing songs from Bangerz featuring a guest appearance by Madonna. It became the highest rated MTV Unplugged in the past decade with over 1.7 million streams. Cyrus was also featured in the Marc Jacobs spring 2014 ad campaign along with Natalie Westling and Esmerelda Seay Reynolds. She launched her controversial Bangerz Tour (2014) that year, which received a generally positive reception. On April 1, about two months into her tour, Cyrus received news her Alaskan Klee Kai, Floyd, was found mauled to death at her home in Studio City after engaging in a fight with a coyote. The incident truamatized Cyrus to the point where by the end of her tour, Cyrus had dedicated her life to veganism and has since continued promoting it. Two weeks later, Cyrus suffered an allergic reaction to the antibioticcephalexin, prescribed to treat a sinus infection, resulting in her hospitalization in Kansas City. Though some dates had to be rescheduled, the tour resumed days later.
In 2016, following the release of her fifth studio album the previous year, Cyrus resumed working on her upcoming sixth studio album. She was a key advisor during the tenth season of the reality singing competition The Voice. After months of speculation, it was confirmed in March 2016 that Cyrus had rekindled her relationship with Liam Hemsworth. That same month, it was announced that Cyrus had signed on as a coach for the eleventh season of The Voice as a replacement for Gwen Stefani; Cyrus is the youngest judge to appear in any incarnation of the series. In September 2016, Cyrus co-starred in Crisis in Six Scenes, a television series Woody Allen created for Amazon Studios. She plays the part of a radical activist who causes chaos in a conservative 1960s household while hiding from the police. On September 17, 2016, she appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon where she sang Bob Dylan's "Baby, I'm In the Mood for You", a rendition that Fallon called "fantastic". In October 2016, Cyrus confirmed that she is engaged to Liam Hemsworth.
Cyrus is an alto, with a "Nashville twang" in both her speech and singing voice. On "Party in the U.S.A." (2009), her vocals feature belterrefrains, while those on the song "Obsessed" (2009) are described as "husky". Releases such as "The Climb" (2009) and "These Four Walls" (2008) feature elements of country music and showcase Cyrus's "twangy vocals". Cyrus experiments with an electropop sound on "Fly on the Wall" (2008), a genre that she would explore further with the release of Can't Be Tamed (2010), her third studio album. It was initially intended to feature rock music elements prior to its completion, and Cyrus claimed after its release that it could be her final pop album. The album's songs speak of Cyrus' desire to achieve freedom in both her personal life and her career. She began working on Bangerz (2013) during a musical hiatus, and described the project as having a "dirty south feel" prior to its release. Critics noted the use of hip hop music and synthpop in the album. The album's songs are placed in chronological order telling the story of her failed relationship with Liam Hemsworth. Cyrus described Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz (2015) as "a little psychedelic, but still in that pop world".
Cyrus has become known for her controversial performances, such as during her Bangerz Tour (2014) and Milky Milky Milk Tour (2015). Her performance of "Party In the U.S.A." at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards sparked a "national uproar" because of her outfit and her perceived pole dancing. She faced similar controversy following a performance of "Can't Be Tamed" (2010) on Britain's Got Talent, where she pretended to kiss one of her female dancers on stage. Cyrus defended the performance, feeling she did nothing wrong. Cyrus was the subject of public and media scrutiny following her performance of "We Can't Stop" (2013) and "Blurred Lines" (2013) with Robin Thicke at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. Clad in a skin colored latex two-piece, Cyrus touched Thicke's crotch area with a giant foam finger and twerked against his crotch. Shortly thereafter, the word "twerk" was added to the online version of the Oxford Dictionary of English. The performance resulted in a media frenzy; one reviewer likened the performance to a "bad acid trip", while another described it 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". Cyrus entered the stage of her Bangerz Tour (2014) by sliding down a slide in the shape of a tongue, gaining media attention during the tour for her costumes and racy performances.
Cyrus performing at the Kids Inaugural: We Are the Future concert in 2009
In January 2011, Cyrus met an ailing fan with spina bifida with the charity Kids Wish Network. In April 2011, she appeared in a commercial for the American Red Cross asking people to pledge $10 to help those affected by the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami. In the same year Hilary Duff presented Cyrus with the first ever Global Action Youth Leadership Award at the first Annual Global Action Awards Gala for her support of Blessings in a Backpack, an organization that works to feed hungry children in schools, and 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." 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 to her charity, Get Ur Good On, which supports education for under-privileged children. 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.
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 had a twenty-two-year-old homeless man by the name of Jesse collect it for her. She had met him at My Friend's Place, an organization that helps homeless youth find shelter, work, health care and education. 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. Cyrus then launched a Prizeo campaign to raise funds for the charity. Those who made donations were automatically entered into a sweepstake for a chance to meet Cyrus on her Bangerz Tour in Rio de Janeiro that September.
In the early years of her career, Cyrus had a generally wholesome image as a teen idol. Her fame increased dramatically following the Vanity Fair photo scandal, and it was reported that photos of Cyrus could be shopped for $2,000 apiece. In the following years, Cyrus' image continued to shift dramatically, differing from her previous teen idol status.Donny Osmond wrote of Cyrus' transition into adulthood: "Miley will have to face adulthood..... As she does, she'll want to change her image, and that change will be met with adversity." The release of Can't Be Tamed (2010) saw Cyrus officially attempting to distance herself from her teenage years, releasing controversial music videos for her songs "Can't Be Tamed" (2010) and "Who Owns My Heart" (2010). Her behavior generated a considerable amount of controversy throughout 2013 and 2014, though godmother Dolly Parton 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?" Cyrus was placed at number seventeen on Forbes' list of the most powerful celebrities in 2014, with the magazine noting that "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." In August 2014, it was reported that Bluewater Productions has documented her life in 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. The comic book was written by Michael L. Frizell and drawn by Juan Luis Rincón, and is available in both print and digital formats.
In September 2010, Cyrus was ranked number ten on Billboard magazine's first ever list of Music's Hottest Minors of 2010, and was ranked number twenty-one on the 2011, and number eighteen on the 2012 version of the list. In May 2013, Maxim ranked Cyrus first on their Hot 100 of the year. Cyrus was chosen by Time as one of their finalists for Person of the Year in November 2013. She came in third place with 16.3% of the vote. 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". In 2015, Cyrus was listed as one of the nine runners-up for The Advocate's Person of the Year.
Cyrus was raised as a Christian and identified herself as such during her childhood and early adult life. Cyrus includes references to Tibetan Buddhism in the lyrics of "Milky Milky Milk" (2015). Cyrus came out as pansexual to her mother when she was 14, and has said: "I never want to label myself! I am ready to love anyone that loves me for who I am! I am open." In June 2015, Time reported that she also identifies as gender fluid. She was quoted as stating she "[doesn't] relate to being boy or girl, and I don't have to have my partner relate to boy or girl." Cyrus is a supporter of the LGBT community, and is often vocal about her beliefs on the topic. Her song "My Heart Beats For Love" (2010) was written for one of Cyrus' gay friends, while she has since claimed that London is her favorite place to perform due to its extensive gay scene. Cyrus also has an equals sign tattooed on her ring finger in support of same-sex marriage. She is the founder of the Happy Hippie Foundation, which works to "fight injustice facing homeless youth, LGBTQ youth and other vulnerable populations". Cyrus is open about her recreational use of cannabis. She told Rolling Stone in 2013 that it was "the best drug on earth" and called it, along with MDMA, a "happy drug". While accepting the Best Video award at the 2013 MTV Europe Music Awards, Cyrus smoked what appeared to be a joint on stage; this was removed from the delayed broadcast of the program in the United States. In a 2014 interview with W, Cyrus stated "I love weed" and "I just love getting stoned."
Miley Cyrus's net worth is estimated at $200 million in 2017. She earned $201 million from sold-out concerts and $76 million from endorsements. Her lifetime (2001–2017) earnings are estimated to be in excess of $360 million.
^Petrusich, Amanda (June 9, 2015). "Free to be Miley". Paper. Archived from the original on January 7, 2016. Retrieved January 26, 2016. She recalls confessing to her mother, at age 14, that she had romantic feelings toward women. 'I remember telling her I admire women in a different way. And she asked me what that meant. And I said, I love them. I love them like I love boys,' she says. 'And it was so hard for her to understand. She didn't want me to be judged and she didn't want me to go to hell. But she believes in me more than she believes in any god. I just asked for her to accept me. And she has.'
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