Miley Ray Cyrus (born November 23,
1992) is an American pop singer, songwriter and television and film
actress who rose to fame after starring as the title character in the
Disney Channel series Hannah Montana. Following the success of Hannah
Montana, a soundtrack CD was released in October 2006 featuring Cyrus on
eight songs from the show. Cyrus's solo music career began with the
release of her debut album, Meet Miley Cyrus on June 23, 2007, which
included her first top ten single, "See You Again". Cyrus's second album,
Breakout, released on July 22, 2008, was her first album independent of
the Hannah Montana franchise. Both albums debuted at #1 on the Billboard
200. Cyrus's first extended play, The Time of Our Lives, was released on
August 28, 2009. The lead single from the EP, "Party in the U.S.A.",
became Cyrus's highest charting and Hollywood Records's fastest selling
single, reaching number two in the Billboard Hot 100 and the top ten in
In 2008, Cyrus appeared in the Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both
Worlds Concert film. Cyrus also starred in Bolt in 2008, and recorded "I
Thought I Lost You" for the soundtrack, earning her a Golden Globe
nomination. She starred in the film spin-off of Hannah Montana, titled
Hannah Montana: The Movie, which was released on April 10, 2009. In 2008,
Cyrus was listed in Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in The
World. Forbes magazine ranked her #35 on the "Celebrity 100" list for
earning $25 million in 2008. Her rank improved to #29 in 2009.
Cyrus was born in Nashville, Tennessee as Destiny Hope Cyrus on November
23, 1992, to parents Leticia "Tish" (née Finley) and country singer Billy
Ray Cyrus. Cyrus has five siblings. Her elder siblings Trace and Brandi
Cyrus are Tish's children from a previous relationship, whom Billy Ray
adopted when they were very young. Trace is a vocalist and guitarist for
the electronic pop band Metro Station, while Brandi has played guitar for
Cyrus's concerts and formed a band with The Secret Life of the American
Teenager star Megan Park. Cyrus also has an older half-brother,
Christopher Cody, from her father's previous relationship, as well as a
younger brother, Braison, and a younger sister, Noah, who is also an
actress. She is the granddaughter of Democratic politician Ron Cyrus.
Cyrus chose the name "Ronnie" for her character in the 2010 film The Last
Song in honor of her grandfather.
Cyrus's parents named her Destiny Hope because they believed that she
would accomplish great things. She was nicknamed "Smiley", later shortened
to "Miley", because she kept smiling as a baby. She is of part Cherokee
descent. Cyrus attended Heritage Middle School, where she was a
cheerleader. She currently attends school at Options For Youth Charter
Schools and studies with a private tutor on the set of her TV show. Cyrus
grew up on her parents' farm outside of Nashville where she regularly
attended the People's Church.
Cyrus became interested in acting when she was nine, and took classes at
the Armstrong Acting Studio while her family lived in Toronto, Canada. Her
early career was marked by minor roles, the first of which was playing a
girl named Kylie on her father's television series Doc. In 2003, Cyrus was
credited under her birth name for her role as "Young Ruthie" in Tim
Burton's Big Fish. Dolly Parton, Miley's godmother, advised Cyrus's mother
to sign Cyrus with Morey Management Group, which The Hollywood Reporter
said "was the best advice she could (have gotten) on who should rep her
daughter". The group's leader, Jim Morey, and his son, Jason, began
co-managing Cyrus's career alongside Tish Cyrus.
When Cyrus was twelve, she auditioned for the role of "best friend" in a
Disney Channel television show about a "secret pop star". Disney Channel
executives at first judged her to be too young, but Cyrus's persistence
resulted in her being called back for further auditions. She eventually
auditioned for the lead role, Zoe Stewart. When she won the role, the
character's name was changed to Miley Stewart. According to Disney Channel
president Gary Marsh, Cyrus was chosen because of her energetic and lively
performance and was seen as a person who "loves every minute of life,"
with the "everyday relatability of Hilary Duff and the stage presence of
Shania Twain." Cyrus had tried for several years to lose her Southern
accent, but Disney decided to include it in the storyline. Later, Cyrus
had to audition her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, for the role of the main
character's father. The show focuses on adolescence while incorporating a
"secret identity" aspect to the storylines.
Hannah Montana first aired on March 24, 2006 in the United States and
averaged more than 4 million viewers per episode. As of 2009, the series
is in its third season on Disney Channel with plans for a fourth and final
season in March 2010.
As the star of Hannah Montana, Cyrus became popular with children and
teenagers, leading to a successful career in music. Her recording debut
was on April 4, 2006, when the fourth edition of DisneyMania was released.
Cyrus sang a cover of James Baskett's "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah," originally from
the 1946 animated film Song of the South. On October 24 the same year,
Walt Disney Records released the first Hannah Montana soundtrack. Of the
nine tracks on the album performed by Cyrus, eight were credited to Hannah
Montana and one, a duet with Billy Ray Cyrus titled "I Learned from You",
was credited to Cyrus as herself. The album debuted at #1 on the US
Billboard 200 and sold 281,000 copies in its first week, beating such
artists as John Legend and rock band My Chemical Romance. Cyrus, as Hannah
Montana, opened for The Cheetah Girls on their The Party's Just Begun
Tour. She performed at 20 dates of their 39-city tour, beginning on
September 15, 2006. On June 26, 2007, Cyrus released a double album,
Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus. The first disc was a second Hannah
Montana soundtrack, while the second disc was Cyrus's first solo album
credited to herself. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 and sold
326,000 copies, selling faster in its first week than the previous Hannah
Montana soundtrack. It was certified Platinum three times by the RIAA
after selling more than 3 million copies in the US. Cyrus voiced the
recurring character Yatta on the Disney Channel animated series The
Emperor's New School. She had a cameo appearance in High School Musical 2
which premiered August 17, 2007; She danced beside a pool in the movie's
closing number and was credited as "girl at pool".
Cyrus's first headlining tour, the Best of Both Worlds Tour, lasted from
October 18, 2007 to January 31, 2008 with 69 concerts across the United
States. She performed both as herself and as Hannah Montana. The Jonas
Brothers were the opening act for most of the tour. Tour tickets for each
date sold out in record time. The tour was recorded and released to
theaters as a concert film in Disney Digital 3-D. Walt Disney
Records/Hollywood Records released the film's soundtrack on March 11,
2008. It peaked at number three on the Billboard 200.
On July 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 with a
first week sales of about 371,000 copies. As of July 31, 2008, this was
the second-biggest sales week of the year for a female artist; Mariah
Carey's E=MC² previously sold 463,000 copies in its first week. "7 Things"
was the first single to be released from Breakout and peaked at number 9
on the Billboard Hot 100. She hosted the 2008 CMT Music Awards with her
father in April. In 2008, Cyrus hosted the Teen Choice Awards.
Cyrus provided the voice of Penny in the 2008 computer-animated feature
film, Bolt, about a television star dog on his quest to find his owner.
Cyrus co-wrote and recorded one of the two original songs on the
soundtrack of Bolt, which features her Bolt co-star John Travolta. Titled
"I Thought I Lost You", it was later nominated for a Golden Globe Award
for Best Original Song. Cyrus again played the title role in the Hannah
Montana film spin-off, Hannah Montana: The Movie which was released on
April 10, 2009. The film is about Stewart returning to her country roots
and deciding which life to choose, her own normal life or as pop star
Hannah Montana. Her single, "The Climb" from the movie's soundtrack peaked
at number four on the Billboard Hot 100, thus becoming her highest
charting single since "See You Again" and "7 Things" which charted at #10
and #9 respectively; later "Party in the U.S.A." charted at # 2. The
movie's soundtrack became the third album under the franchise to take the
lead of the Billboard 200 and was certified platinum by the RIAA.
In June 2009, Cyrus changed her TV and movie career representation from
United Talent Agency to Creative Artists Agency, which had already
represented her for music. Also in June, Cyrus began filming her upcoming
movie The Last Song, based on a novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks,
in which she plays a rebellious teenage girl who spends a summer with her
estranged father at his home in a quiet beach town. The film was conceived
as a "star vehicle" with the intention of introducing Cyrus to older
audiences. Cyrus recorded a song with the Jonas Brothers titled "Before
the Storm" for their fourth studio album Lines, Vines and Trying Times.
She also launched another Hannah Montana soundtrack (for the third
season), titled Hannah Montana 3 on July 7, 2009.
"Party in the U.S.A." was officially released to radio on July 29, 2009.
The song is from a Wal-Mart exclusive EP entitled The Time of Our Lives
which released on August 31, 2009. It was released as promotion for
Cyrus's clothing line. The song made it to number one on Hot Digital Songs
with 226,000 paid downloads, making her the youngest artist to top the
chart, which led its big debut on the Billboard Hot 100, where it was
placed at number two, topping "The Climb" (that peaked at number four).
The song thereby became the "fastest breaking single in Hollywood Records'
Cyrus announced her 2009 North American Tour. The tour began on September
14, 2009 in Portland, Oregon and spanned 45 dates across North America.
Eventually, additional dates were announced for the United Kingdom making
the tour change names to the Wonder World Tour. The tour featured the band
Metro Station as a special guest. Tickets went on sale to the general
public on June 13, 2009 and for the UK dates on June 12, 2009. In July
2009, Disney acquired the film rights to Aprilynne Pike's novel Wings, in
which Cyrus is expected to star. In early December 2009, Cyrus performed
her hits "See You Again", "The Climb" and "Party in the U.S.A." at the
Capital FM Jingle Bell Ball at London's The O2 arena. 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, along with fellow American pop singer Lady GaGa. In
December, Timbaland released his album, Shock Value II, which features a
track with Cyrus called "We Belong to the Music". Cyrus was ranked number
four on Billboard's list of the Top Female Artists of 2009, above artists
such as Britney Spears and Kelly Clarkson.
In late 2009, Cyrus recorded a cover of the Poison song Every Rose Has Its
Thorn in collaboration with Bret Michaels. The track was produced by John
Shanks. Cyrus plans to take a break from recording music after releasing
her next album in hopes of developing an "edgier" sound.
Cyrus's movie, The Last Song is scheduled for release on March 31, 2010.
Shooting for the fourth and final season of Hannah Montana began January
Cyrus celebrated her 16th birthday with a charity fundraiser at
Disneyland, which was closed early for the event attended by 5,000 fans at
$250 per ticket. The proceeds went to the charity Youth Service America, a
youth volunteering organization. Ten outstanding youth volunteers from
Youth Service America were invited to attend, and later in the evening,
Cyrus presented a $1 million check to the organization. In 2007, Cyrus
made a large contribution to the City of Hope, giving $1 for every "Hannah
Montana" concert ticket sold. She said that "the cool thing about being a
part of City of Hope is that they are a cancer research center. They're
not only helping kids that are there, but also finding out how they can
heal them by figuring out what exactly is going on, which is amazing."
Cyrus has lent her musical talents to several charity benefits. Cyrus
collaborated with fourteen other female singers to record a charity single
titled "Just Stand Up!", which the singers performed live during a
one-hour primetime event for the anti-cancer campaign Stand Up to Cancer
on September 5, 2008. On September 14, 2008, Cyrus, along with other
performers, performed at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City,
California for the City of Hope Benefit Concert to help raise money for
cancer research and training programs. In 2010, Cyrus appeared on a
charity benefit single organised by Simon Cowell in an attempt to raise
money for victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. It is a cover of the song
"Everybody Hurts" by R.E.M. and was released digitally in the UK on
Cyrus is involved in Disney's Friends for Change, an organization which
promotes environmentally friendly behavior, and appears in the service's
public service announcements to raise awareness for the cause on the
Disney Channel. In addition, she joined fellow Disney stars Demi Lovato,
Selena Gomez, and the Jonas Brothers, to record "Send It On", a charity
single which serves as the theme song for Disney's Friends for Change.
"Send it On" debuted on the Hot 100 at number twenty. Disney will direct
100% of the proceeds from "Send it On" to environmental charities through
the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF).
Cyrus suffers from a mild heart condition causing tachycardia. In her
autobiography, Miles to Go, Cyrus writes, "There is never a time onstage
when I'm not thinking about my heart". In January 2008, Cyrus announced
her intent to officially change her name to "Miley Ray Cyrus," her middle
name reflecting that of her father. The name change became official on May
1, 2008. In an interview with USA Today, Cyrus was quoted as saying her
faith is "the main thing" and is the reason why she works in Hollywood.
When interviewed by Parade, she added that she attends church regularly
with her family. In an interview with Christianity Today, Billy Ray Cyrus
said, "Being Christian, we believe in heaven," and "We also had a great
church, and when you give up your church, your pastor, and the community
you are involved in, you're making a big sacrifice. Let's face it,
Hollywood is a completely different environment than Franklin, Tennessee."
In February 2008, Cyrus and her friend Mandy Jiroux (who is also a backup
dancer for Cyrus) began creating videos on YouTube 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. It is filmed mainly in Cyrus's
bedroom. Cyrus was also popular on the social networking site Twitter; her
site was watched by approximately 2 million Twitter users in addition to
the general public when she deleted it on October 8, 2009. In the
September 2008 issue of Seventeen, Cyrus stated she had been in a
relationship with Nick Jonas for two years, and that they "were in love".
They broke up at the end of 2007. In June 2009, Cyrus ended a nine month
long relationship with Nashville Star contestant and model Justin Gaston.
On April 25, 2008, the televised entertainment program Entertainment
Tonight reported that Cyrus had posed topless for a photoshoot with Vanity
Fair. The photo, and subsequently released behind-the-scenes photos, show
Cyrus with her bare back exposed but her front covered with a bedsheet.
The photoshoot was taken by photographer Annie Leibovitz. The full
photograph was published with an accompanying story on The New York Times'
website on April 27, 2008. 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.” Branding consultants
John Tantillo and Michael Stone appeared on Fox Business News to discuss
possible repercussions for Cyrus's brand and her best marketing strategy
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." On April 28, 2008, Vanity Fair published their full
interview and photo shoot with Cyrus and her father Billy Ray Cyrus, as
well as the behind-the-scenes photographs, on their website. According to
the interview, Cyrus's parents or minders were present during the entire
duration of the photo shoot. The idea to pose with the sheets on was
suggested by Leibovitz. When asked if she was "anxious" about the pose,
Cyrus stated to interviewer Bruce Handy: "No, I mean I had a big blanket
on. And I thought, this looks pretty, and really natural. I think it's
really artsy. It wasn't in a skanky way.... And you can't say no to Annie.
She's so cute. She gets this puppy-dog look and you're like, okay." On
December 2, 2008, TV Guide reported that Cyrus is interested in working
with Leibovitz again in the future and is even considering a career in
photography for herself, "That's what I want to do with my life. I would
love to be a photographer... I want to come to London to study. I hear
there are some great art schools here so I would love to do that."
Cyrus's performance of "Party in the U.S.A." at the 2009 Teen Choice
Awards on August 10 incited controversy. Critics of the performance
complained that she danced provocatively alongside a dance pole that was
on top of an ice-cream pushcart, and that another part of the performance
seemed to poke fun at American culture. Some drew negative comparisons to
Britney Spears, though Cyrus herself welcomed comparisons to the former
teen pop star. Others defended Cyrus, arguing that still images of the
performance made it seem more lewd than it actually was, and opining that
the ensuing controversy took the focus away from the six awards she won
that night. Others observed that Cyrus already had a risque image, and
sought to broaden her appeal to audiences, with the performance a part of
her transition into an entertainer for older audiences, much as had been
observed years earlier with Britney Spears. Cyrus's label, Hollywood
Records, and The Walt Disney Company, which produces Hannah Montana,
offered no comment on the performance, though Disney asserted that all
performances on the Disney Channel are appropriate for children age 6 –
14. The Fox Network, which broadcast the awards, also offered no comment,
other than to confirm that the performance would be included in its
broadcast of the ceremony.