Saturday, October 16, 2010


Miley Ray Cyrus (born Destiny Hope Cyrus; November 23, 1992) is an American actress and pop singer. 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 went on 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.

Cyrus was born on November 23, 1992 in Nashville, Tennessee to parents Leticia "Tish" (née Finley) Cyrus 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 month after Cyrus's birth on December 28, 1992. The marriage gave Cyrus three half-siblings: Trace and Brandi, Tish's children from a previous relationship, and Christopher Cody, Billy Ray's son from a previous relationship. Billy Ray adopted Trace and Brandi when they were toddlers and paid child support for Cody, who was also born in 1992 and grew up with his mother in South Carolina. The couple later gave birth to Cyrus's two younger siblings, 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 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. Cyrus displayed an affinity for performing as a toddler, although she would not seriously consider acting until she was eight. 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.

1998–2005: Early work

In 1998, when Cyrus was six, 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.

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' career decisions. For her education, Cyrus enrolled at Options for Youth Charter Schools[25] and studied with a private tutor on the set of her television show.

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 "phenom[enal]" 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.

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 $29 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.[citation needed] 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.

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. 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."

On October 8, 2009, Cyrus deleted her account on the social networking site Twitter, citing a desire for more privacy. She also told Parade magazine, "I deleted my Twitter account because I said on there that I believed in gay marriage because everyone should have the right to love each other, and I got such hate mail about my being a bad person." Cyrus was very popular on the site: her account was watched by approximately 2 million Twitter users in addition to the general public at the time of deletion.

Cyrus celebrated her 16th birthday at Disneyland with a charity fundraiser for Youth Service America, a youth volunteer service organization.

At the end of 2009, Billboard magazine ranked Cyrus the fourth best-selling female artist[100] and the fifth best-selling singer overall. Forbes ranked her #29 on the Celebrity 100 and reported she had earned a total of $25 million.

n 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, were spread across the internet. "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," said Cyrus.

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 [sic] 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. Conversly, 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,[119] 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!"

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".

At the end of 2007, Cyrus broke up with her boyfriend of two years, Nick Jonas of the Jonas Brothers. Cyrus told Seventeen magazine that she and Jonas had been dating for two years and "were in love", but were "fighting a lot" by the end. After the break-up, Cyrus says that she initially "rebell[ed] 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. Cyrus filed a petition to have her name changed to "Miley Ray Cyrus", her middle name reflecting that of her paternal grandfather's, on March 18, 2008. The change became official on May 1, 2008.

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 are reportedly back together.

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