August 2013: Twerking and Grinding on Robin Thicke
After Can't Be Tamed didn't quite catapult her to Britney Spears-level superstardom, Cyrus went for broke: Her long hair was dyed blonde and chopped into a punk pixie, she adapted an outlandish, barely-there wardrobe and, on the musical front, infused hip-hop into her musical sound on Bangerz. The coming out party for this New Miley was her now-iconic, career-making performance of "We Can't Stop" at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. With her tongue out and wearing a skin-baring onesie, Cyrus – whose appropriation of rap and stoner culture was complicated at best – twerked across the stage before being joined by Robin Thicke, and later, Kendrick Lamar. With Thicke, she stripped down further to a nude latex bra and panty set before grinding on the much older singer.