The Evolution of Miley Cyrus - Rolling Stone
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The Evolution of Miley Cyrus

Follow the pop star’s rapid transformation from Disney kid to dirty girl

Miley Cyrus

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Ah, youth: It was only seven years ago, but 2006 marked the real beginning of Cyrus' career, with her hit Disney Channel show Hannah Montana premiering on the network in March of that year.

By Jon Blistein

Miley Cyrus

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A verified pop performer these days, Cyrus' career kicked off with a musical style that bent a bit more towards country music, thanks in no small part to her pops, Billy Ray Cyrus. (Also, Dolly Parton played her godmother on Hannah Montana, which is very legit.)

Joseph Jonas, Nick Jonas, Miley Cyrus and Kevin Jonas

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Kiddie Pop

With the Jonas Brothers: witness the reigning kings and queen of kiddie pop, ruling over a coveted advertising demographic with promise rings and sweet-tooth hooks before they were usurped by the ruthless conqueror, Justin Bieber.

Miley Cyrus

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Following the massive success of Hannah Montana, Cyrus released the two-CD album Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus in 2007. While double albums are usually reserved for hyper-indulgent rock stars during a period of intense creativity, they also come in handy when you're a budding pop star who actually has to play two budding pop stars. 

Miley Cyrus

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Sweet 16

By the time she was 16, Cyrus already had a hit TV show, a sold-out tour schedule and a hit single called "See You Again," which introduced the epic mispronunciation of "when" as "vain" into the American lexicon. Most kids would be lucky if they'd gotten their first kiss by then.

Miley Cyrus

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On Tour

One year after her humongous "Best of Both Worlds" tour (her first ever, no less), Cyrus hit the road again, this time venturing over to Europe for another impressive, big-ticket trek. This time, though, she left Hannah Montana at home.

Miley Cyrus

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Four Seasons

Six seasons and a movie, so they say. Hannah Montana only got four seasons and a movie, but a handful of Number One records and hit singles certainly make up for those two missing seasons.

Miley Cyrus

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Video of the Year

Not only did she co-host the 2010 MuchMusic Video Awards, Cyrus busted out two performances during the show, "Can't Be Tamed" and "Party in the U.S.A.," also picking up International Video of the Year for the latter. A busy night for sure. 

Miley Cyrus

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Can’t Be Tamed

After scoring the coveted distinction of having the most inescapable song in the world, Cyrus released Can't Be Tamed in 2010, though it failed to produce a hit as ubiquitous as "Party in the U.S.A." 

Miley Cyrus

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Despite the lukewarm sales of Can't Be Tamed, Cyrus remained an ever-present figure on the pop scene with various live appearances and concerts. At this one she performed a few originals and a cover of Poison's "Every Rose Has Its Thorn." 

Miley Cyrus

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Kids’ Choice

She's a certified television personality and don't the kids just love her: Cyrus has wracked up six blimps at Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards. Bet they don't take up as much space as the 18 surfboards she's won at the Teen Choice Awards.

Miley Cyrus

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Sin City

While she's set to perform at this year's festivities in Sin City, Cyrus showed up to last year's iHeartRadio Music Festival as an attendee. At the time she was working on a crop of new songs, and while the general public had yet to see a single twerk, it was clear the bad girl was beginning to break out. 

Miley Cyrus

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Talk about making a statement: Cyrus showed up at "VH1 Divas" donning a spike-studded top and ripping through Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell," with plenty of pyrotechnics to boot.

Miley Cyrus

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Dance Craze

2013 will be remembered as a period of great posterior unrest, as America reveled in the dance craze/meme that is twerking. By June, everyone was jiggling it; a few days before she appeared at this MySpace event, TMZ cameras caught Cyrus twerking for what certainly wouldn't be the last time.

Robert Thicke and Miley Cyrus perform during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards at the Barclays Center on August 25th, 2013 in New York City.

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Twerking It

With the help of current super producer Mike Will Made It, Miley has stormed back onto the charts with "We Can't Stop." She solidified the song's summer smash status – and her new no-fucks-given attitude – with a raunchy performance at the VMAs that included a "Blurred Lines" duet with Robin Thicke and, obviously, some twerking. 

In This Article: Hannah Montana, Miley Cyrus

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