Miley Cyrus Releases New Album, Enters New Professional Era
Over the past 17 years, Miley Cyrus has established herself as a trailblazing superstar of the 21st century, growing from teen idol to provocateur and a voice for Gen Z. With the release of her eighth studio album, “Endless Summer Vacation,” and the lead single “Flowers” already becoming one of her all-time biggest hits plus a huge TikTok sensation, Miley Cyrus officially enters a new professional era, arguably her most mature one. Here is an opportunity to look back at her evolution throughout the years:
“Best Of Both Worlds”
Headlining Disney’s breakout hit television show Hannah Montana, which premiered in March 2006 and over the course of four seasons catapulted her into worldwide stardom in her early teens, Cyrus redefined the meaning of Hollywood child star. The Tennessee native was cast at age 13, and portrayed a normal teenager living a double life as a pop sensation called Hannah Montana. The show’s immense success made her a household name, Disney capitalized on the brand with merchandise and soundtrack albums she had recorded, led by the theme song “Best of Both Worlds,” and the show ultimately set a new benchmark for future young talent such as Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato and the Jonas Brothers, who soon followed in a similar trajectory.
By the time the show came to an end at the beginning of 2011, Cyrus was aging out of the role, and she was ready to set course on her own path. In 2010 she starred in the coming-of-age romantic drama The Last Song opposite Australian newcomer Liam Hemsworth, with whom she made a love connection in real-life; two years later she starred in LOL, which was a box office flop. Meanwhile, she tried breaking away from the cookie cutter teen pop mold by releasing the album “Can’t Be Tamed,” which took her to a slightly edgier music space, and in hindsight served as a stepping stone for the big adult change that was around the corner.
“I Came in like a Wrecking Ball”
Mere weeks shy of turning 21, Cyrus released “Bangerz” in September 2013, which she most notably promoted with a provocative performance at the MTV Video Music Awards, featuring Robin Thicke and highly scrutinized for simulation of sexual acts on stage. The new “short hair-don’t care” Cyrus continued her transformation in an episode of the acoustic music series MTV Unplugged, in which Madonna joined her for a duet – a rite of passage for the newest naughty girl of the music world. She cemented her risqué image in the video for ballad “Wrecking Ball,” swinging naked on a wrecking ball. Cyrus stuck her tongue out to the public in more ways than one as she went on tour, collaborated with psychedelic rock band The Flaming Lips and talked about her use of recreational drugs, ultimately succeeding in demonstrating that she was a Disney darling no more.
By 2017, Cyrus had exhausted her wild child persona and was ready to go back to her roots, not just sporting natural long locks but, more significantly, recording a country pop album called “Younger Now.” The daughter of country artist Billy Ray Cyrus and goddaughter of the legendary Dolly Parton, Cyrus seemed further inspired as she creatively embraced her Tennessee onbringing, talked about Hillary Clinton as an inspiration and focused on her non-profit foundation “Happy Hippie” in support of the homeless and of LGBTQ youth. She even dabbled in acting again, starring in Woody Allen’s Amazon miniseries Crisis in Six Scenes and in an episode of British anthology series Black Mirror. And after her relationship with Hemsworth’s being on again and off again for some time, the two tied the knot in December 2018, only to call it quits for good eight months later.
“Flowers (I Can Love Me Better)”
Setting the stage for her current era, Cyrus kicked off 2023 with “Flowers,” a disco funk anthem of self-empowerment, declaring herself liberated from relying on anyone else to feel complete and fulfilled. Celebrated by rave reviews, the single went on to break the record as the most streamed song on Spotify in the first two weeks after its release, reached number one in the charts in 35 countries and solidified her comeback. Furthermore, promotion for the new album includes a music performance special on Disney+, streaming Friday March 10 and marking her first joint effort with Disney since her Hannah Montana days. After all the twists and turns during her career, Cyrus is coming home, and doing it proudly, in full control as a mature liberated woman.