Miley Cyrus has played many different roles throughout her career in entertainment, but this one may just be her most important yet: as older sister and mentor to up-and-coming singer Noah Cyrus.
“I think it makes you jaded, it makes you guarded, and I don’t ever want her to get like that,” Miley told radio host Elvis Duran of the downside to fame during the inaugural podcast of iHeartRadio’s Label Defiers with ZICO Coconut Water. “Or your style or the way that you think because you want to please people. I really hope that she never feels those pressures and I hope other people respect her and don’t actually make her something she’s not.”
Noah, now 17, signed a record deal with Barry Weiss’ record label, RECORDS, in November, and dropped several singles in subsequent months, including “Make Me (Cry),” “Stay Together” and “I’m Stuck.” The aspiring multi-hyphenate has also been developing her acting career over the years, lending her voice to the lead character in 2008’s anime flick Ponyo and running a webshow with Emily Grace Reaves called The Noie and Ems Show between 2009 and 2010.
Miley, now 24, got her own start as a fixture in the Disney universe as the lead in hit series Hannah Montana at the young age of 11, and has undergone many creative and personal shifts as she grew up and evolved under the spotlight.
The “Malibu” singer has made her fair share of controversial decisions over the years as she moved away from her clean-cut Disney image, including a topless Vanity Fair shoot in 2008, sending nudes to then-Disney heartthrob Joe Jonas that same year, pole dancing at the Teen Choice Awards in 2009 and infamously twerking on Robin Thicke at the 2013 MTV VMAs.
“When you’re in this industry, adults treat kids like adults,” she said. “I think the way people judge you or people would write articles on me when I was a kid going through the times of having crazy breakouts or going through break ups or whatever I was going through, people would treat me like I could handle those comments as an adult, like I had this thick skin.”
One of the things she’s warned Noah has been how and when she interacts with social media, a hotbed of scathing criticism.
“I always tell Noah, keep your Instagram comments turned off,” Miley said. “Never read anything that anyone says about you. Don’t Google yourself.”
Not that Noah is necessarily going to follow in Miley’s footsteps. The youngest Cyrus sibling, Miley said, is set on carving her own path, out from under her big sister’s long shadow.
“She didn’t even tell me that this was really happening all of a sudden, which I think she wanted to really do it on her own,” she said. “So I’m really proud of her that she did. I think she really didn’t involve me as much … I think she just wanted to get out on her own two feet without this having anything to do with me.”