Miley Ray Cyrus (born Destiny Hope Cyrus; November 23, 1992) is an American actress and pop singer-songwriter. She achieved wide fame for her role as Miley Stewart/Hannah Montana on the Disney Channel sitcom Hannah Montana. Cyrus recorded music for the soundtracks, Hannah Montana (2006) and Hannah Montana 2/Meet Miley Cyrus (2007), released by Walt Disney Records. With the success of the Hannah Montana franchise she established herself as a teen idol. In 2007, Cyrus signed to Hollywood Records to pursue a solo career. She embarked upon the Best of Both Worlds Tour the same year, in which she performed as both herself and in character as Hannah Montana. The tour was eventually turned into a high-grossing concert film entitled Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert (2008). In July 2008, Cyrus released her first solo album, Breakout (2008), which was commercially successful.
She began her foray into film by providing the voice of "Penny" in the animated film Bolt (2008). Cyrus earned a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song for her performance of Bolt's theme song, "I Thought I Lost You". She also reprised her role as Miley Stewart/Hannah Montana in Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009). The Hannah Montana: The Movie' soundtrack introduced her to new audiences within country and adult contemporary markets.
She began to cultivate an adult image in 2009 with the release of The Time of Our Lives (2009), an extended play which presented a more mainstream pop sound, and by filming The Last Song (2010), a coming-of-age drama film. The former included Cyrus's best-selling single, "Party in the U.S.A." (2009). A studio album titled Can't Be Tamed was released in 2010 and presents a new dance-pop sound. The music video and lyrics of the album's lead single, "Can't Be Tamed", portrays a more sexualized image for the entertainer. Cyrus ranked number thirteen on Forbes' 2010 Celebrity 100. In April 2011, Cyrus was named the 64th hottest woman in the world on Maxim's Hot 100. In May 2011, Cyrus was also named the 89th sexiest woman in the world on FHM's 100 Sexiest Women in the world. For the 2011 Guinness book of world records, she was named the “Most Charted Teenager” following her 29th US Billboard Hot 100 chart entry on November 7, 2009 with “Party in the USA.”
Cyrus was born on November 23, 1992 in Nashville, Tennessee to Letitia Jean "Tish" (née Finley) and country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. Her parents named her Destiny Hope because they believed that she would accomplish great things with her life. They gave her the nickname "Smiley", which was later shortened to "Miley", because she smiled so often as a baby. Cyrus suffers from a mild heart condition causing tachycardia which, though not dangerous, is often bothersome.
Against the wishes of her father's record company, Cyrus's parents secretly married a year after Cyrus's birth on December 28, 1993. Tish had two children from a previous relationship: Trace and Brandi. Billy Ray adopted Trace and Brandi when they were young. She has a half-brother, Christopher Cody, Billy Ray's son from a brief relationship, born the same year as Miley; he grew up with his mother in South Carolina. Tish and Billy Ray had two more children, Braison and Noah. Cyrus's godmother is entertainer Dolly Parton. Cyrus was very close to her paternal grandfather, Democratic politician Ronald Ray Cyrus. Cyrus has paid her grandfather several tributes since his death in 2006, including eventually changing her middle name to "Ray". According to Cyrus's father, "A lot of people say Miley changed her name to Miley Ray because of Billy Ray, but that's not true. She did that in honor of my dad, because the two of them just loved each other to pieces."
Cyrus grew up on a 500-acre (2.0 km2) farm in Franklin, Tennessee, approximately an hour away from Nashville, and attended Heritage Elementary School. She was raised Christian and was baptized in a Southern Baptist church prior to moving to Hollywood in 2005. She attended church regularly while growing up and wore a purity ring. Several of Cyrus's siblings also eventually entered the entertainment business: Trace became a vocalist and guitarist for the electronic pop band Metro Station, Noah became an actress, and Brandi became a guitarist.
2001–05: Career beginnings
In 2001, when Cyrus was eight, she and her family moved to Toronto, Canada while her father filmed the television series Doc. Cyrus said watching her father film the show inspired her to pursue acting. 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 on Doc. In 2003, Cyrus was credited under her birth name for her role as "Young Ruthie" in Tim Burton's Big Fish.
At age 11, Cyrus learned about the casting for what became Hannah Montana, a Disney Channel children's television series about a school girl with a secret double life as a teen pop star. Cyrus sent in a tape auditioning for the show's best friend role, but received a call asking her to audition for the lead, "Chloe Stewart". 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. However, her persistence and ability to sing in addition to act led the show's producers to invite her back for further auditions. Cyrus eventually received the lead, renamed "Miley Stewart" after herself, at the age of twelve. 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.
As Cyrus's career took off, Tish Cyrus made several critical decisions regarding her daughter's representation. She signed Cyrus with Mitchell Gossett, director of the youth division at Cunningham Escott Slevin Doherty. Gossett, who specializes in creating child stars, had arranged for Cyrus's auditions for Hannah Montana and is credited with "discovering" her. For Cyrus's music career, Tish followed the advice of Dolly Parton, Cyrus's godmother and a singer herself, and signed Cyrus with Jason Morey of Morey Management Group. "Dolly said the Moreys are people you can trust around your daughter," Tish Cyrus recalls, "and she said they have good morals, which is not always the case in this business." According to trade magazine The Hollywood Reporter, Parton's advice was "the best advice Tish could have gotten on who should rep her daughter." Tish also recruited Billy Ray's business manager to manage her daughter's finances. Tish herself continues to co-manage or produce many of Cyrus's career decisions. For her education, Cyrus enrolled at Options for Youth Charter Schools and studied with a private tutor on the set of her television show.
2006–07: Hannah Montana and Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus
Hannah Montana became an instant hit and propelled Cyrus to teen idol status, according to The Daily Telegraph. The series premiered on March 26, 2006 to the largest audience ever for a Disney Channel show and soon became one of the highest-rated series on basic cable, elevating Cyrus's wealth and fame along with it. Time magazine reports that Cyrus's "phenomenal" 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. Cyrus eventually became the first artist to have deals in television, film, consumer products, and music within The Walt Disney Company.
Cyrus's first single was "The Best of Both Worlds", the theme song to Hannah Montana, which was released on March 28, 2006. "The Best of Both Worlds" is credited to "Hannah Montana", the pop star Cyrus portrays on the series by the same name. As with other songs credited to Montana, Cyrus typically dressed as the character when performing the song live. Cyrus's first release under her own name was a cover of James Baskett's "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah", released on April 4, 2006 on the fourth edition of DisneyMania. 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. On October 24 of same year, 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. The album peaked at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart.
The second season of Hannah Montana premiered on April 23, 2007, and ran until October 12, 2008. Cyrus signed a four-album deal with Disney-owned Hollywood Records and, on June 26, 2007, released a double-disc album. The first disc was the soundtrack to the second season of Hannah Montana, while the second, titled Meet Miley Cyrus, was Cyrus's debut album credited to her own name. The double-disc album peaked at number one on the Billboard 200 and was later certified three times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Meet Miley Cyrus generated "See You Again", Cyrus's first single to be released under her own name and her first top ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100. In Fall 2007, Cyrus launched her first tour, the Best of Both Worlds Tour, to promote Meet Miley Cyrus and the Hannah Montana soundtracks. 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 U.S. and Canada. 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. A Ticketmaster official commented, "Hell hath no fury like the parent of a child throwing a tantrum. People who have been in this business for a long time are watching what's happening, and they say there hasn't been a demand of this level or intensity since The Beatles or Elvis."
2008–09: Breakout, transitions and film career launch
After the end of the Best of Both Worlds 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 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. "We don't want to turn away kids from the theaters who couldn't get into the concerts," said Chuck Viane, Disney's chief of distribution. The film's soundtrack was released by Walt Disney Records/Hollywood Records on March 11, 2008 and peaked at number three on the Billboard 200.
On July 22, 2008, Cyrus released her second studio album under her own name, entitled Breakout. Cyrus said Breakout was inspired by "what's been going on in my life in the past year." Cyrus co-wrote eight out of twelve songs on the album. "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." The album debuted at #1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and its lead single, "7 Things", peaked at number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100. She hosted the 2008 CMT Music Awards with her father in April and the 2008 Teen Choice Awards by herself in August. Cyrus provided the voice of Penny in the 2008 computer-animated film Bolt, which was released on November 21, 2008 to critical acclaim. 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. In September 2009, she participated in the charity single "Just Stand Up!" in support of the anti-cancer campaign Stand Up to Cancer and in the City of Hope Benefit Concert in support of cancer research and training programs. 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.
Cyrus had already begun transitioning to a more grown-up 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. It was important to Cyrus that she not be type cast as a singer: "I didn't want to be a singer in another film. I don't want to do that anymore. You have no idea how many musicals show up on my door. I want to do something a little more serious." In March 2009, Cyrus published Miles to Go, a memoir co-written by Hilary Liftin chronicling her life through age sixteen. Cyrus starred as Miley Stewart/Hannah Montana in Hannah Montana: The Movie, released April 10, 2009. Both the film and its soundtrack, which contained twelve songs performed by Cyrus, achieved commercial success. The soundtrack's lead single, "The Climb", became a Top 40 hit in twelve countries and introduced Cyrus to listeners outside her typical teen pop audience. Cyrus had considered ending Hannah Montana after its third season, which finished production on June 5, 2009, but Disney retained and exercised its option for a fourth season.
Production on The Last Song lasted from June 15, 2009 to August 18, 2009. In between, Cyrus launched the third Hannah Montana soundtrack, recorded the extended play The Time of Our Lives, and released the EP's lead single, "Party in the U.S.A." 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." "Party in the U.S.A." debuted at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 for her best-ever ranking on the chart. The Time of Our Lives was released in conjunction with a clothing line co-designed by Cyrus and Max Azria for Walmart.
From September 14, 2009 to December 29, 2010, Cyrus toured on her Wonder World Tour to promote Breakout and The Time of Our Lives. 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, North West England.
2010–present: Can't Be Tamed, focus on film career and fourth studio album
Production on the fourth and final season of Hannah Montana began on January 18, 2010. In the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Cyrus appeared on the charity singles "We Are the World: 25 for Haiti" and "Everybody Hurts". Her third studio album, Can't Be Tamed, was released on June 21, 2010. The album's first single is the title track, "Can't Be Tamed". The single was released for sale on May 18, 2010 and entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number eight. Cyrus's costumes and dances while promoting Can't Be Tamed were also considerably more provocative than previous performances, arousing media criticism. After releasing the album, Cyrus intends to take a break from the music industry in order 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." Cyrus has also decided to opt out of college for the same reason, saying "I'm a firm believer that you can go back at any age you want, because my Grandma went back to college at 62 For right now, I really want to focus on my career. I've worked hard to get to where I am now, and I want to enjoy it while it lasts."
Cyrus starred in The Last Song, which was released on March 31, 2010, and received generally poor reviews, as did Cyrus's performance. Nonetheless, the film was commercially successful, grossing more than $88 million at the worldwide box office. According to box-office analyst Exhibitor Relations, the film marked "a successful transition to adult roles for Miley Cyrus." The fourth and final season of Hannah Montana began airing on Disney Channel on July 11, 2010 and was ended on January 16, 2011. Cyrus filmed two more films, LOL: Laughing Out Loud and So Undercover in 2010. In LOL, a remake of a 2008 French teen film of the same name, Cyrus plays "a daughter who is involved with all the wrong kids, doing drugs, failing school, but whose mother has her on this perfect pedestal" and says "She just fell in love with the story." Miley's character loses her virginity, smokes cannabis, gets wasted and kisses two girlfriends on the lips. She will also star in So Undercover, an action comedy film. Cyrus will play the part of "a tough, street-smart private eye hired by the FBI to go undercover in a college sorority." She learned street fighting for the role.
Despite her earlier announcement that she'd be focusing more on acting in the future, in February 2011, Cyrus confirmed she had no films lineup and was going to go on tour. On April 29, 2011, Cyrus embarked on her international Gypsy Heart Tour in South America and ended the tour on July 2, 2011 in Australia. Cyrus hosted Saturday Night Live on March 5, 2011, where she performed in several sketches. She also sang a brief song about her several controversies, such as the bong incident, the photo of her friend and she eating a Twizzler, and the "pole dance" on a hotel pole at the Teen Choice Awards, stating "I'm sorry that I'm not perfect." In March 2011, father Billy Ray Cyrus confirmed on talk show, The View, that Miley had been in talks with producer Dr. Luke on a new album. In July 2011, it was announced that she would record her fourth studio album and she has no plans to sign onto any other film projects. However, it was 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.
In 2008, Cyrus earned $25 million, up from her earnings of $18 million in 2007, and was ranked number 35 on Forbes magazine's "Celebrity 100" list. 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. In 2009, Forbes ranked her #29 on the Celebrity 100 and reported she had earned a total of $25 million. Then Cyrus got ranked number thirteen on Forbes' 2010 Celebrity 100 ranking $48 million. From the $48 million she made between June 2009 to June 2010 made her the no. 4 highest earners under 30 and the youngest on the list. between June 2010 and June 2011, Cyrus earned $54 million.
From working on Hannah Montana, Cyrus got paid $15,000 per episode she did on the hit show, making her the 6th highest paid child star on television behind fellow Disney stars Dylan and Cole Sprouse and Keke Palmer with $20,000 for their shows. Also, she is behind friend and Disney star Selena Gomez that makes $25,000 per episode of her show, Nick star Miranda Cosgrove with $180,000 per episode of her show, and one time co-star Angus T. Jones that got paid $250,000 for each episode of his show. Though she had not got paid as much as other Disney stars,when she was 17 she was named #19 on the "Top 20 World's Richest Female Singers Of All Time" list with over $100 million in 5 years active throughout her career, which made her the youngest female artist on the list. In 2011, she was named #1 on the "Top 10 Richest Teens in Hollywood" with $120 million.
Personal life and image
A Christian, she was baptized in a Southern Baptist church in 2005.
In an interview, friend and actor Tyler Posey stated that he and Cyrus met on the set of the show Doc, and that they shared their first kiss on the show. He then stated that he and Cyrus dated for two years and then broke up when they were 11. Cyrus told Seventeen magazine that she and Nick Jonas had dated for two years and "were in love", but were "fighting a lot" by the end. After the break-up, Cyrus says that she initially "rebelled 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."
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. The show, described as a "YouTube hit," is said to be filmed for fun by Cyrus and Jiroux and to be entirely their work, with Cyrus and Jiroux editing the footage together.
With Cyrus's increased success came increased media attention. 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 against 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." 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."
Cyrus celebrated her 16th birthday at Disneyland with a charity fundraiser for Youth Service America, a youth volunteer service organization.
In June 2009, Cyrus ended her nine-month relationship with model Justin Gaston shortly before flying to Georgia to film The Last Song. While filming later that month, Cyrus began dating her co-star in The Last Song, Australian actor Liam Hemsworth. She later called him her "first serious boyfriend". In August 2010, it was confirmed that her relationship with Hemsworth had ended. Cyrus and Hemsworth were seen together a month later, and were reportedly back together. It was announced in early November that the couple had split again. They have since rekindled their relationship.
At the end of 2009, Billboard magazine ranked Cyrus the fourth best-selling female artist and the fifth best-selling singer overall. Also in 2009, at the age of sixteen, she became the youngest artist to have four number one albums on the charts.
In December 2007, a brief controversy emerged when photos Cyrus had posted on her private MySpace account, depicting her and a female friend sharing a piece of licorice and "almost kissing", were spread across the internet, prompting rumors of lesbianism. Cyrus comments, "For me, I was like, That's two girls—it's not a big deal. But they got spread around. Like someone copied and pasted and said, Omigod, look at this, and blah blah blah."
In April 2008, several provocative images of Cyrus in her underwear and swimsuit were leaked onto the web by a teenager who hacked Cyrus's Gmail account. 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." On April 25, 2008, the televised entertainment program Entertainment Tonight reported that Cyrus, then 15, had posed topless for a photoshoot taken by photographer Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair. On April 29, 2008, The New York Times clarified that though the pictures left an impression that she was bare-breasted, Cyrus was wrapped in a bedsheet and was actually not topless. Some parents expressed outrage at the nature of the photograph, which a Disney spokesperson described as "a situation that was created to deliberately manipulate a 15-year-old in order to sell magazines." Gary Marsh, president of entertainment for Disney Channel Worldwide, was quoted by Portfolio magazine to have said, “For Miley Cyrus to be a 'good girl' is now a business decision for her. Parents have invested in her a godliness. If she violates that trust, she won't get it back." In response to the Internet circulation of the photo and ensuing media attention, Cyrus released a statement of apology on April 27, 2008: "I took part in a photo shoot that was supposed to be 'artistic' and now, seeing the photographs and reading the story, I feel so embarrassed. I never intended for any of this to happen and I apologize to my fans who I care so deeply about." Leibovitz also released a statement: "I'm sorry that my portrait of Miley has been misinterpreted. The photograph is a simple, classic portrait, shot with very little makeup, and I think it is very beautiful."
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", according to The Hollywood Reporter. About a year later 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. Nikki Finke, who broke the news, reported, "Is this fair to UTA? Of course not. But I hear the decision was made by Miley's mother Trish Cyrus".
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. Conversely, Newsday reported that her sexualization "has been coming for some time." 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." Cyrus was also criticized that year for dating Gaston, five years her senior, and for a photo displaying Cyrus and friends making "slant-eyed" expressions, which the Organization of Chinese Americans claimed was offensive to the Asian community. Cyrus apologized for the photo on her website, defending her actions and saying, "In NO way was I making fun of any ethnicity! I was simply making a goofy face."
Later in 2010, TMZ released a video of Cyrus, then 16, giving Adam Shankman, producer of The Last Song, a lap dance at the film's wrap party. Cyrus's father defended her actions, saying Miley was just "having fun" and that "it's what people her age do". Later that year in December, TMZ released a video of Cyrus, which took place five days after her 18th birthday at her Los Angeles home, in which she is seen smoking from a bong. She claimed she was smoking the psychoactive plant salvia divinorum, although this has not been confirmed by anybody but Cyrus herself. Salvia is legal in the state of California, and Cyrus was of legal age at the time the video was shot. Cyrus's father expressed his sadness regarding the matter on Twitter, saying, "Sorry guys. I had no idea. Just saw this stuff for the first time myself. I'm so sad. There is much beyond my control right now".