How Miley Cyrus Managed to Leave Hannah Montana Behind and Become This Generation’s Madonna


Young Miley Cyrus could have remained Hannah Montana in her fans’ minds for good. But over time, it became clear that she didn’t plan to be limited by this achievement. Nowadays, thousands of fans come to her concerts, Miley is involved in charity, and journalists even call her this generation’s Madonna.

At Impresionante, we became curious how Miley, who used to be a starlet in a teen sitcom, became a superstar.

The celebrity’s real name is Destiny Hope Cyrus. Her parents nicknamed her “Smiley,” because she often smiled as an infant, and later shortened it to “Miley.” She got so used to it that, at 16, she legally changed her name to Miley Ray Cyrus. Her middle name honors her grandfather.

At 13, Miley auditioned for the Disney Channel TV series Hannah Montana and was surprised to find out that she was cast to play the lead character — a schoolgirl who turns into a pop-star at night.

The musical sitcom quickly became popular, and Cyrus was labeled a “teen idol.” After the first season, she toured as Hannah Montana and performed songs from the show.

Miley decided to continue her singing career. In June 2007, she released her debut studio album, which reached the top of the Billboard 200, and then she went on her highly successful tour. The tour resulted in the production of the film Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert.

All this time, Miley’s popularity was based on the popularity of her character Hannah Montana. So, the young celebrity decided to prove to the world that she could achieve more without Disney’s support.

In early 2008, Cyrus and her friend Mandy Jiroux started the YouTube channel, “The Miley and Mandy Show,” which now has almost 500,000 followers. The girls posted short videos there where they talked to each other, danced, or cleaned Miley’s wardrobe. The quality of videos wasn’t high, but fans still loved them.

2013 was perhaps the turning point in the singer’s career. Her fans forgot about Hannah Montana when they saw Miley at the MTV Video Music Awards. Her performance with Robin Thicke was quite bodacious.

There were dancing teddy bears, and a foam finger appeared in her hands from time to time. In addition, Cyrus changed to a flesh-colored bikini and did some twerking. The audience and Internet users got really excited. The music video Wrecking Ball was viewed over 19 million times within 24 hours of its release.

Miley’s new style was not only her farewell to Hannah Montana, it was also her act of self-acceptance. In an interview, the singer confessed that on the Disney show she was made to look like someone that she wasn’t, which probably caused some body dysmorphia in her. She had been styled every day for so long that once she was out of the show, she couldn’t understand whether her face was all right.

When she grew up, the first thing she did was gett rid of the long locks she had been made to wear by the stylists. She stopped feeling embarrassed about her body and filled her Instagram page with provocative photos, while posing with a stuck-out tongue became her trademark.

However, this wasn’t her first attempt to find her true self. At 14, Miley came out as pansexual to her mother. Later, she also came out as genderfluid, asking not to labeled as a “boy” or “girl.” The young singer realized that she was ready to love anyone that loved her for who she was.

As she’s grown, Cyrus has had relationships with both men and women. Past partners include singer Nick Jonas, actor Lucas Till, and model Stella Maxwell.

Her relationship with actor Liam Hemsworth, whom she met during the filming of the movie The Last Song, made a lot of noise in the media. On the first day of production, they filmed a kiss in the ocean. This scene won a Nickelodeon Australian Kids’ Choice Award for Favorite Kiss in 2010.

It’s interesting that the scriptwriter Nicholas Sparks wasn’t sure whether this 16-year-old girl, who had only worked on the Disney Channel before, would cope with such a serious role. But when he saw her at work, his doubts dissipated. For the movie, the actress worked with a dialect coach to lose her Southern accent and learned to play piano.

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth were engaged from May 2012 to September 2013, and then broke up. 3 years later, they rekindled their relationship and announced their new engagement to each other.

The wedding took place on December 23, 2018. It was a private ceremony in their home. However, less than a year later, Cyrus announced their separation, and got a tattoo on her hand to honor this event.

Nowadays, Miley Cyrus is actively involved in charity work. She founded the Happy Hippie Foundation, which supports LGBTQ youth and other vulnerable populations.

In 2014, the singer decided to use her popularity to attract attention to the problems of people in need. Miley attended the Video Music Awards with a 22-year-old homeless man named Jessie Helt, who went onstage to accept her Video of the Year award. He also delivered a speech about homelessness in front of 13.7 million viewers.

The Happy Hippie Foundation stands for gender equality, supports LGBTQ youth and provides psychological and financial help to young people in need. Since 2014, the Happy Hippie Foundation has helped nearly 1,500 homeless young people, and reached more than 25,000 people with resources about gender.

Another Miley Cyrus project was the social media campaign #InstaPride. The campaign featured a series of portraits starring transgender and gender non-conforming people. These photos were posted to her Instagram page with the hashtags #HappyHippiePresents and #InstaPride. Miley said that she wanted to bring attention to people who may not normally see themselves as the stars of a photoshoot.

Throughout her career, Miley Cyrus has sung on a few charity singles, such as “Just Stand Up!”, “Send It On,” “Everybody Hurts,” and “We Are the World 25 for Haiti.” In addition, the singer launched her own branded lipstick, and the proceeds went to the Mac AIDS Fund.

She visited her fans in hospitals, and supported the City of Hope National Medical Center in California. Additionally, Cyrus is always ready to help those who suffer from AIDS and have been affected by natural disasters. She appeared in a commercial for the American Red Cross asking viewers to donate money for the victims of earthquakes and tsunamis.

In 2015, Billboard ranked Miley Cyrus as one of the Greatest of All Time Billboard 200 Artists, occupying position 31. A couple of years later, the singer was named a queer superhero for her support of the LGBTQ community.

From 2016 to 2017, Miley’s fans could see her as a coach on the TV show The Voice. The singer worked on this project for 2 seasons. A bit later, she tried acting again, and performed in the episode “Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too” of the series Black Mirror. She played a pop star and provided the voice for her AI doll extension.

Nowadays, Miley Cyrus continues to support the LGBTQ community. In 2021, she sang the iconic ABBA song Dancing Queen in a duet with Maren Morris. She posted the video in her Instagram with the hashtag #MileyPrideSpecial.

In recent years, her annual NBC show Miley’s New Year’s Eve Party has become very popular. On the night of December 31, 2021, this TV party was viewed by 4.4 million people, and was named one of the best shows of recent years. This show took place in sunny Miami because the singer hates cold weather and believes that there is nothing fun about freezing.

Do you think Miley Cyrus managed to leave Hannah Montana behind? Share your opinion in the comments below.

Photo credit NO CREDIT / Bauer Griffin / East News, Paul A. Hebert / Invision / AP / East News