Miley Cyrus: A Bona Fide Diva | Sunday Observer

Miley Cyrus: A Bona Fide Diva

27 September, 2020

Miley Ray Cyrus (born Destiny Hope Cyrus; November 23, 1992) is an American singer-songwriter, actress, and record producer. Her music spans a range of styles, from pop, and country pop to hip hop. Cyrus’ personal life, public image, and performances have often sparked controversy and received widespread media coverage.

Cyrus, the daughter of country music singer Billy Ray Cyrus, became a teen idol while portraying the title character of the Disney Channel television series Hannah Montana (2006–2011).

Cyrus auditioned for the Disney Channel television series Hannah Montana when she was eleven years old. She auditioned for the role of the title character’s best friend, but was called to audition for the lead role instead. Despite being denied the part at first because she was too ‘young and small’ for the role she was selected later as the lead because of her singing and acting abilities. The series premiered in March 2006 to the largest audience for a Disney Channel program and quickly ranked among the highest-rated series on basic cable. The success of the series led to Cyrus being labeled a teen idol. She toured with The Cheetah Girls as Hannah Montana in September 2006, performing songs from the show’s first season. Walt Disney Records released a soundtrack credited to Cyrus’s character in October of that year. The record was a commercial success, topping the Billboard 200 chart in the United States; it went on to sell over three million copies worldwide. With the release of the soundtrack, Cyrus became the first act within The Walt Disney Company to have deals in television, film, consumer products, and music.

As Hannah Montana, she attained two number-one and three top-ten soundtracks on the US Billboard 200, including the US Billboard Hot 100 top-ten single He could be the one. Cyrus’ own discography includes the US number-one albums Meet Miley Cyrus (2007), Breakout (2008), and Bangerz (2013); the top-five releases Can’t Be Tamed (2010), Younger Now (2017), and She iscoming (2019); and the free Sound Cloud streaming-exclusive album Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz (2015). Her singles include the US top ten-charting See You Again, 7 Things, The Climb, Party in the U.S.A., Can’t Be Tamed, We can’t stop, Malibu; and the chart-topping Wrecking Ball. Cyrus’ career accolades include entries on the Time 100 list in 2008 and 2014, MTV’s Best Artist of 2013 Award, and placement on Billboard’s Greatest of All Time Artistes Chart in 2019. As of 2019, she has sold more than 20 million albums and 55 million singles worldwide. She is often cited as an example of a successful child actor-turned-singer.

As an actress, Cyrus has made appearances in the animated film (2008) and the feature films Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009) and The Last Song (2010). On Bolt television, Cyrus served as a coach on the singing competition series The Voice across two seasons and starred in an episode of the Netflix series Black Mirror (2019). Cyrus is an animal rights advocate and adopted a vegan lifestyle in 2014; she founded the non-profit Happy Hippie Foundation in 2014, which focuses on youth homelessness and other marginalised communities. She stopped being a vegan in 2019.

Cyrus has cited Elvis Presley as her biggest inspiration. She has also cited artistes such as Madonna, Lane Del Rey, Dolly Parton, Timbaland, Joan Jett, Lil Kim, Shanai Twain, Hanson, One republic, and Britney Spears as influences. Since the beginning of her music career, Cyrus has been described as being predominantly a pop artist. Her Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus debut studio effort was characterized as sounding similar to her releases as ‘Hannah Montana’ featuring a pop-rock and bubblegum pop sound. Cyrus hoped that the release of Breakout (2008) would help distance her from this sound; the record featured Cyrus experimenting with various genres. Cyrus co-wrote eight songs for the album, and was quoted as saying: “I just hope this record showcases that, more than anything, I’m a writer. The songs on her early releases feature lyrics on the topics of love and relationships.

Cyrus possesses a mezzo-soprano vocal range although her vocals were once described as alto, with a Nashville twang, in both her speaking and singing voice. Her voice has a distinctive raspy sound to it, similar in vein to that of Pink and Amy Winehouse. On Party in the U.S.A. (2009), her vocals feature belter refrains, while those on the song Obsessed (2009) are described as ‘husky’. Releases such as The Climb (2009) and These Four Walls (2008) feature elements of country music and showcase Cyrus’ ‘twangy vocals’. Cyrus experimented with an electropop sound on Fly on the Wall (2008), a genre that she would explore further with the release of Can’t Be Tamed (2010), her third studio album. It was initially intended to feature rock music elements prior to its completion, and Cyrus claimed after its release that it could be her final pop album. The album’s songs speak of Cyrus’ desire to achieve freedom in both her personal life and her career. She began working on Bangerz (2013) during a musical hiatus, and described the record as having a ‘dirty south feel’ prior to its release. Critics noted the use of hip hop music and synthpop in the album. The album’s songs are placed in chronological order telling the story of her failed relationship with Liam Hemsworth. Cyrus described Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz (2015) as “a little psychedelic, but still in that pop world”.