Destiny Hope Cyrus (born November 23, 1992), better known as Miley Cyrus, is an American actress, singer and songwriter. She is perhaps best known for starring as Miley Stewart/Hannah Montana on the Disney Channel Original Series, Hannah Montana. As of March 2008, she is in the legal process of changing her given name to “Miley Ray Cyrus”. The next step in her name change process is a public hearing, due May 1, 2008.
Cyrus became an overnight sensation after she was cast in Hannah Montana. Following the success of the show, in October 2006, a soundtrack CD was released in which she sang eight songs from the show. In December 2007, she was ranked #17 in the list of Forbes Top twenty earners under 25 with an annual earning of US$3.5 million. As of December 2007, she is working on a movie spin-off from Hannah Montana, titled The Hannah Montana Movie which is due to be released late 2008 or early 2009.
Cyrus was born in Franklin, Tennessee, the daughter of Leticia “Tish” (née Finley) and country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, and the granddaughter of the late Ron Cyrus. She has two elder half-brothers, Christopher Cody and Trace, the latter being the vocalist and guitarist of an electronic rock band, Metro Station in California. She also has an older half-sister, Brandi, a younger brother, Braison, and a younger sister, Noah, who is also an actress. She was named Destiny Hope because her parents believed that she would accomplish great things. Cyrus gained her nickname “Miley” because she kept smiling (“Smiley”) as a youngster.
Cyrus attended Heritage Middle School,and now has a private tutor. She grew up on her parents’ farm outside of Nashville.
Cyrus became interested in acting at age nine when the family briefly lived in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Her first acting role was as a guest star on her father’s television series Doc, in which she played a girl named Kylie. In 2003, she played “Young Ruthie” in Tim Burton’s Big Fish and was credited as Destiny Cyrus. She was also featured in Rhonda Vincent’s music video for “If Heartaches Have Wings”, and appeared on Colgate Country Showdown with her father, who was hosting the program.
Cyrus was twelve years old when she originally auditioned for Disney for the lead as well as the “best friend” roles; Disney Channel executives then judged her to be “too small”, however Miley was persistent in her desire to be part of the show, so Disney called her back for further auditions when she turned 12. According to Disney Channel Executive Vice President Gary Marsh, Cyrus was chosen for Hannah Montana 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”. She spent several years to get rid of her Southern accent, but in the end Disney wanted her to revive it. Later in an unusual twist, Cyrus had to audition her own father, Billy Ray Cyrus, to see if he would fit the role as Hannah’s dad. Cyrus currently stars in Hannah Montana as the lead character Miley Stewart, whose alter ego is the pop music sensation Hannah Montana. Cyrus also performs in character as Hannah Montana for albums and concerts.
In 2004, Cyrus became a spokesperson for Daisy Rock Guitars, when she was presented with her first Daisy Rock guitar— the Stardust Series Acoustic Electric Pink Sparkle. It was given to her by her parents from her father’s Country Music Television fan meet-and-greet when she was twelve years old.
On June 22, 2006, a performance of a Hannah Montana concert (featuring Cyrus as Hannah Montana) at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon in Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida was recorded for the Disney Channel. There were over one thousand people there. Cyrus spent the rest of 2006 opening for The Cheetah Girls on 20 dates of their 39-city tour. Cyrus also appeared in the Disney Channel Hannah Montana promotion, “Hannah Montana’s Backstage Secrets”, in which she portrays Hannah Montana in a fictional interview set in the show’s canon.
Walt Disney Records released Hannah Montana on October 24, 2006. The soundtrack included eight of the songs that Cyrus performed as Hannah Montana. Cyrus also signed a four-album major record deal with Hollywood Records for her own albums. On December 25, 2006, Cyrus performed as Hannah Montana at the Walt Disney Christmas Parade, singing her version of the holiday classic “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”.
On June 26, 2007, exactly eight months after the release of the first soundtrack, Cyrus released a double album, Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus. The first disc served as the second Hannah Montana soundtrack, while the second disc was Cyrus’s debut album as herself. She wrote, eight of the ten songs and was credited as “Destiny Hope Cyrus”. Cyrus had a brief cameo in High School Musical 2 credited as “Girl at Pool”, where she danced in front of the pool wearing a yellow baby doll top and denim bermuda shorts. before the end credits.
While attending the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix premiere, Cyrus stated that they are working on ideas for a Hannah Montana movie. The feature-length film is to be produced by Cyrus’s both on and off-screen dad, Billy Ray Cyrus.
Disney released a Hannah Montana clothing collection in late summer. Cyrus helped to design some of the pieces from the collection. “It’s not a costume. A tween girl isn’t doing dress-up, they want to look like they could be Hannah Montana’s friend. This is a fashion line.”
Cyrus performed both as herself and in character as Hannah Montana on a North American Best of Both Worlds Tour that started on October 18, 2007 in St. Louis, Missouri; the tour was extended, due to high demand, until January 31, 2008, with 69 total dates, 14 more than previously planned. The Jonas Brothers were the opening act for most of the tour. Tour tickets for each date sold out in record time after they went on sale, disappointing large numbers of fans.
In 2007, Miley made a large contribution to the City of Hope (she gave $1 for every HM concert ticket sold) “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.”
In 2007, Cyrus guest-starred as Yatta on Disney Channel’s The Emperor’s New School. In December 2007, she was ranked at #17 in the Forbes Top 20 Earners Under 25, with an annual earning of US$3.5 million.
In 2008, Cyrus was invited to present the song “That’s How You Know” from the film Enchanted at the 80th Academy Awards. She is scheduled to host the 2008 CMT Music Awards with her father in April.
On March 20, 2008, a wax figure of Miley Cyrus was unveiled at Madame Tussauds in New York City.
As of April 2008, Cyrus has been recording her third studio album, expected to be released sometime in July.
On April 9, 2008, Miley Cyrus appeared on the TV show, American Idol Gives Back, and she told the audience that it has always been one of her dreams to appear on American Idol.
In April 2008, Parade magazine and usmagazine.com reported that Cyrus earned $18.2 million in 2007.
Cyrus is good friends with fellow Hannah Montana co-stars Emily Osment and Mitchel Musso, often texting and conference calling each other during busy days. Miley Cyrus also taught Emily Osment how to play the guitar and Osment taught Cyrus how to knit. She is also friends with the stars of the highly successful TV movie High School Musical, including Ashley Tisdale, Vanessa Hudgens and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody stars including Brenda Song. In an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, she stated that she looks up to Hilary Duff as her role model.
On January 29, 2008 Miley Cyrus announced her intent to officially change her name to “Miley Ray Cyrus,” her middle name reflecting that of her father’s.
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 to Christianity Today, Billy Ray 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.” She also has many pets, including horses, dogs, cats, fish, and chickens.
Beginning in February 2008, Cyrus and her friend Mandy Jiroux (who is also a backup dancer for Cyrus) have been 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 editing the footage together. It is mostly filmed in Cyrus’s bedroom. A particularly popular video was posted on April 13, featuring a dance-off “battle” pitting Cyrus and Jiroux against Jon Chu and Adam Sevani of Step Up 2. The video was choreographed and filmed over the course of two days and it is set to Madonna’s song “4 Minutes”.