In 2006, the TV series “Hannah Montana” had one of the biggest premieres in the Disney Channel’s 23-year-history, with 54 million viewers. As you can imagine, then 12-year-old Miley Cyrus, who scored the lead role as Miley Stewart, had all eyes on her. The show about a teenager living a double life as a pop singer became the most popular program for pre-teen girls at the time.
It’s now been 13 years since the hit double album “Hannah Montana 2/Meet Miley Cyrus” was released for the show’s second season.
Naturally, Cyrus’ followers went crazy when she tweeted this month: “Meet Miley Cyrus…..again. #SheisComing #ButForRealThisTime,” accompanied with a throwback clip from her music video “Start All Over.” The clip has been watched over 4.5 million times on Twitter. Cyrus was only 15 years old when the music video was first released in 2008.
— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) August 4, 2020
This tweet is among many from Cyrus teasing her new music, including her upcoming seventh album, “She is Miley Cyrus.”
Twitter user @2020Predictions tweeted in response: “WE’RE READY.”
Another user, @wildfirebizzle, tweeted: “we’ve been waiting for you for so long and I’m so happy rn.”
Twitter user @sallyjo25 also tweeted: “Oh that’s so exciting! I still jam to that album often,” referring to the 2008 double album.
Cyrus’ new era of music started this past Friday when she released her new single and self-directed music video titled “Midnight Sky.” It is her first song of 2020. However, some Twitter users were not excited to “meet Miley again.”
Twitter user @Gulity_lena tweeted: “Flop is coming.”
Another person, @pettypinkster, tweeted a meme with the character Stanley Hudson from TV show “The Office.” It said, “here we go again.”
But, Cyrus does not want to control the lives of critics and only wants to control her own. In her new song, she sings: “I was born to run, I don’t belong to anyone.”
Cyrus said to Billboard that “Midnight Sky” is about her relationship with the idea of “forever.” In verse one, she sings: “Yeah, it’s been a long night and the mirror’s telling me to go home/ but it’s been a long time since I felt this good on my own / Lotta years went by with my hands tied up in your ropes / forever and ever, no more.”
Cyrus recently went through a divorce with actor Liam Hemsworth, whom she had dated on and off for a decade before tying the knot. She continued in her interview, saying that if your “forever” doesn’t work out, people consider you a failure.
“And I just don’t think that. I think we’re kind of set up for devastation,” Cyrus said. “We’re changing and evolving and understanding ourselves from such a different perspective that it just feels like forever is definitely a big word, especially for someone young.”
And, Cyrus is no stranger to publicly changing and evolving. She has been in the public eye since she was a child.
The Tennessee-native started her acting career alongside her father and country singer, Billy Ray Cyrus, booking a small role in the TV series “Doc” in 2001. Later in 2003, she had another small role in the movie “Big Fish.”
But, nothing compared to the role of Miley Stewart. Disney had a new star on their hands, as well as a new face for the wholesome, clean-cut brand.
With the show’s success, Cyrus went on to make many hit records, including “See You Again.” The “Hannah Montana” soundtrack debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200. She also played multiple sold out tours, such as the “Best of Both Worlds Tour” where the Jonas Brothers opened for her. The tour was shown in movies theaters and brought in over $8.5 million on opening day.
The TV series had a film, “Hannah Montana: The Movie,” which premiered in theaters, and Cyrus even published a book titled “Miles to Go.”
Typically, child stars have many life struggles down the line from mental health to eating disorders, and Cyrus is no exception. In an interview with the Sun, she realized as she got older that the pressures of being a child star affected her personal development.
Cyrus also talked about how the “real Miley” had felt forgotten, saying, “I think why people loved Hannah Montana was because Hannah Montana did feel real and that’s because I was under there and people forgot that sometimes.”
In 2010, Cyrus released her third studio album, “Can’t Be Tamed.” It was the first album where fans could hear who Cyrus really was underneath the wig.
She said the album represents leaving her earlier musical work that she felt disconnected from. Cyrus had many people help her achieve a new dance-pop sound. The album’s themes are based on breaking free from expectations, especially in the context of romantic relationships.
With this new momentum, Cyrus released her No. 1 single “We Can’t Stop” in 2013 and later that year, she had her controversial performance at the MTV Video Music Awards with Robin Thicke.
The 21-year-old got the reputation of a Disney star gone wild, gaining an increasingly sexual image.
According to Dr. Linda, a psychologist, the reasoning behind child stars’ struggles is being associated with their previous acting role. In this instance, people saw Cyrus as Hannah Montana and Miley Stewart.
“They had an identity they were able to profit from and get a sense of validation from. Once that changes, you don’t have that same value and you feel it,” she said. “And that is why we see young stars becoming hyper-sexualized — they want to be taken seriously as adults.”
Later in 2013, Cyrus released her fourth album, “Bangerz,” which included her hit song “Wrecking Ball.” The music video included footage of Cyrus nude and swinging on a wrecking ball. Like her third album, it was a musical departure from her previous work and reestablished her music career with a “Dirty South hip-hop” sound.
She experimented more in her fifth album, “Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz” and her sixth album, “Younger Now,” before arriving to what we have now.
Cyrus said she stopped smoking weed to clear her mind and write “Midnight Sky,” her latest empowering single. She looked in the mirror during quarantine and cleaned out the things she didn’t need, both in her house and mind.
“Things that belong to you, and things that don’t, and things that no longer serve you,” she said. “And that was really, really healthy for me. And I don’t think I could have done that if my mom hadn’t smoked all my weed, and I didn’t have any left.”
The release date of her upcoming album is still unknown, but will we finally meet the real Miley Cyrus?