Miley Cyrus Biography and Profile

Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus. Photo by Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Miley Cyrus' Early Life

Miley Cyrus was born in Nashville, Tennessee November 23, 1992 just six months after her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, became a country and pop star when his song "Achy Breaky Heart" hit the charts. Her full name is Destiny Hope Cyrus, but she was given her nickname by her mother for her tendency to smile as a baby. "Smiley" was shortened to "Miley" and it stuck. Other members of her family that are accomplished in the entertainment industry include step-brother Trace, a member of the band Metro Station, and younger sister Noah who is an actress.

Acting Career Begins

Miley Cyrus began her acting career with a part in the TV series Doc which starred her father and a small role in the film Big Fish. At the age of 12 she auditioned for a role in a new Disney TV series Hannah Montana. Her persistence paid off with a callback audition and she was eventually selected to be the lead due to the recognition that she possessed the, "everyday relatability of Hilary Duff and the stage presence of Shania Twain."

Miley Cyrus Becomes a Star as Hannah Montana

The show Hannah Montana is the story of 14-year-old Miley Stewart who is an ordinary teenager by day but has a second life as pop star Hannah Montana at night. She wears a wig as Hannah, and her friends don't know that Miley is Hannah. Keeping that secret is a key plot point in the show. Hannah Montana was an instant success with Disney channel viewers. A soundtrack album released in October 2006 was a multi-platinum smash.

It hit the top of the album chart and sold more than three million copies. The follow up was a 2 disc set, one of Hannah Montana and the second introducing Miley Cyrus. It was another #1.

Miley Cyrus' Biggest Hits

  • 2007 - "See You Again" - #10
  • 2008 - "7 Things" - #9
  • 2009 - "The Climb" - #4
  • 2009 - "Party In the U.S.A." - #2
  • 2010 - "Can't Be Tamed" - #8
  • 2013 - "We Can't Stop" - #2
  • 2013 - "Wrecking Ball" - #1

Solo Pop Star

The single "See You Again" from Meet Miley Cyrus became her first top 10 pop single in 2007. After a successful live album in the spring of 2008, the single "7 Things" led into the release of , an album which stood alone as a Miley Cyrus collection unconnected to Hannah Montana. This album hit #1 and was certified platinum. In early 2009 the single "The Climb" from the soundtrack to Hannah Montana: The Movie became Cyrus' biggest pop hit yet peaking inside the top 5. The album was certified platinum and the single double platinum.

"Party In the USA"

By 2009 Miley Cyrus was emerging as one of the most successful pop performers in her own right. She left the show Hannah Montana after a fourth season to concentrate on her singing career. The wisdom in this decision seemed clear as the single "Party in the USA," released in August 2009, charged to #2 on the pop singles chart becoming her biggest hit yet.

Can't Be Tamed

For her next album Miley Cyrus worked to shed her image as a child performer. The more provocative approach drew as much criticism as praise. The first single, the album's title song, peaked inside the top 10 but only briefly.

The album itself became her first to miss topping the charts and failed to earn a gold certification. Miley Cyrus then announced she was putting her music career on hold.

The Return - Bigger and More Notorious Than Ever

Miley Cyrus kicked off the summer of 2013 with her return to concentration on her music career. The down tempo party single "We Can't Stop" soared on the charts and soon became one of the biggest hits of her career peaking at #2. The accompanying music video directed by Diane Martel drew praise and controversy for bizarre contemporary art influenced imagery. A controversial sexually explicit live performance at the MTV Video Music Awards with Robin Thicke was followed by another major hit single "Wrecking Ball," her first #1, in advance of the album Bangerz. The album soared to #1 and ultimately was certified as another platinum album, her first since 2008's Breakout.

The Bangerz concert tour drew controversy for its sexual content, endorsement of marijuana, and use of foul language. Some parents complained about the adult content because their children, former fans of Hannah Montana, would want to see the show. However, critics mostly praised the presentation because of Miley Cyrus' singing talent, presence on stage, and the overall production values of the show. It became the 16th biggest grossing concert tour of 2014. 

For her fifth studio album, Miley Cyrus worked with the group Flaming Lips and their leader Wayne Coyne. He referred to their collaborations as "a slightly wiser, sadder, more true version" of Miley Cyrus' previous pop music. In 2015 she released the new music for free streaming on SoundCloud under the title Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz. The music was a psychedelic and alternative detour from her earlier work.

In September 2016, Miley Cyrus gained new national exposure by serving as one of the judges on the hit TV show The Voice replacing Gwen Stefani. She is the youngest judge ever to appear on the show. 

Philanthropy

Miley Cyrus has participated in a wide range of charity singles including We Are the World 25 and the "Everybody Hurts" charity project to benefit victims of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. She has also been a strong supporter of a wide range of nonprofit organizations including Amnesty International, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and Kids Wish Network.

In 2014 when Miley Cyrus won the MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year, she had a homeless 22-year-old man named Jesse accept the award to help publicize My Friend's Place, an organization which helps homeless youth get off the street.

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Lamb, Bill. "Miley Cyrus Biography and Profile." ThoughtCo, Oct. 28, 2016, thoughtco.com/miley-cyrus-biography-3244958. Lamb, Bill. (2016, October 28). Miley Cyrus Biography and Profile. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/miley-cyrus-biography-3244958 Lamb, Bill. "Miley Cyrus Biography and Profile." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/miley-cyrus-biography-3244958 (accessed November 23, 2017).