Ten years ago today, the first episode of Hannah Montana aired on the Disney Channel. Telling the story of a teenager living a double-life as a pop star, the show was not only a massive success but it also launched the acting and music career of its star, Miley Cyrus. Take a look at Cyrus’ audition tape above.
She took to her Instagram today to share her thoughts on the anniversary, writing: “To the world it’s a celebration of 10 years but for us the journey began way before the world had any clue who the fuck any of us are.
“There was a very long auditioning process, and many chemistry reads which really is what sold the show to the producers and channel because no matter what went on over the years (which none of you have any clue about but it was like The Real World but [with] more hormonal teenagers), our love for each other was unquestionable. Even though I feel disconnected to who I was at that time I will always feel eternally grateful for the opportunity and platform I was given…”
Cyrus began audition for the show when she was 11-years-old, seeking out the series’ best friend role before becoming the frontrunner for its lead. Prior to Hannah Montana, Cyrus acted alongside her father Billy Ray Cyrus in his TV show Doc before landing a small role in the Tim Burton-helmed feature Big Fish.
Thanks to Hannah Montana — where she was reunited on-screen with her dad — Cyrus became a megastar at just 13 years old. Over the course of the show’s four seasons, the actress was also able to launch her singing career, performing in character both on the show and on tour. She began releasing music under her own name in 2007, beginning with the album Meet Miley Cyrus which featured the hit single “See You Again.” With 2008’s Breakout and the 2009 EP The Time of Our Lives (featuring “Party in the U.S.A.”), Cyrus further established herself as a dominant force in pop music before solidifying her reign during her controversial Bangerz era.
Later this year, Cyrus will return to television via Amazon as one of the stars of Woody Allen’s forthcoming untitled project. She released her most experimental music yet with last year’s surprise-released psychedelic LP Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz.