Miley Cyrus is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and television personality. Known for her distinctive raspy voice, her music incorporates elements of varied styles and genres, including pop, country pop, hip hop, experimental, and rock. She has attained the most US Billboard 200 top-five albums in the 21st century by a female artist, with a total of thirteen entries.
Cyrus, a daughter of country music singer Billy Ray Cyrus, emerged as a teen idol while portraying the title character of the Disney Channel television series Hannah Montana (2006–2011). As Hannah Montana, she attained two number-one and three top-five soundtracks on the US Billboard 200, including the US Billboard Hot 100 top-ten single "He Could Be the One". Cyrus's own discography includes the US number-one albums Meet Miley Cyrus (2007), Breakout (2008), and Bangerz (2013); the top-five releases Can't Be Tamed (2010), Younger Now (2017), Plastic Hearts (2020) and the free album Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz (2015). Cyrus's EPs The Time of Our Lives (2009) and She Is Coming (2019) also debuted in the top-five. Plastic Hearts became Cyrus's most acclaimed record, and her first entry on the Billboard Rock Chart, debuting atop the chart. It included the lead single "Midnight Sky". Her other singles include the US top ten-charting "See You Again", "7 Things", "The Climb", "Party in the U.S.A.", "Can't Be Tamed", "We Can't Stop", "Malibu", "Without You"; and the chart-topping "Wrecking Ball". In 2020, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) awarded Diamond certification to "Party in the U.S.A.", recognizing single sales of ten million.
Cyrus's career accolades include entries on the Time 100 list in 2008 and 2014, MTV's Best Artist of 2013 Award, and placement on Billboard's Greatest of All Time Artists Chart in 2019. She is regarded as one of the few examples of successful child actors-turned-singers. As an actress, Cyrus has made appearances in the animated film Bolt (2008) and the feature films Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009) and The Last Song (2010). On television, Cyrus served as a coach on the singing competition series The Voice across two seasons, and starred in the episode "Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too" of the Netflix series Black Mirror (2019). Cyrus is an advocate for animal rights and adopted a vegan lifestyle in 2014. She founded the non-profit Happy Hippie Foundation in late 2014, which focuses on youth homelessness and the LGBT community.
Musical style and influence
Cyrus has cited Elvis Presley as her biggest inspiration. She has also cited artists such as Madonna, Lana Del Rey, Dolly Parton, Timbaland, Christina Aguilera, Joan Jett, Lil Kim, Shania Twain, Hanson, OneRepublic and Britney Spears as influences. Since the beginning of her music career, Cyrus has been described as being predominantly a pop artist. Her Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus debut studio effort was characterized as sounding similar to her releases as "Hannah Montana" featuring a pop-rock and bubblegum pop sound. Cyrus hoped that the release of Breakout (2008) would help distance her from this sound; the record featured Cyrus experimenting with various genres. Cyrus co-wrote eight songs for the album, and was quoted as saying: "I just hope this record showcases that, more than anything, I'm a [song]writer." The songs on her early releases feature lyrics on the topics of love and relationships.
Cyrus possesses a mezzo-soprano vocal range, although her vocals were once described as alto, with a "Nashville twang" in both her spoken and singing voice. Her voice has a distinctive raspy sound to it, similar in vein to that of Pink and Amy Winehouse. On "Party in the U.S.A." (2009), her vocals feature belter refrains, while those on the song "Obsessed" (2009) are described as "husky". Releases such as "The Climb" (2009) and "These Four Walls" (2008) feature elements of country music and showcase Cyrus's "twangy vocals". Cyrus experimented with an electropop sound on "Fly on the Wall" (2008), a genre that she would explore further with the release of Can't Be Tamed (2010), her third studio album. It was initially intended to feature rock elements prior to its completion, and Cyrus claimed after its release that it could be her final pop album. The album's songs speak of Cyrus's desire to achieve freedom in both her personal and professional life. She began working on Bangerz (2013) during a musical hiatus, and described the record as having a "dirty south feel" prior to its release. Critics noted the use of hip hop and synthpop on the album. The album's songs are placed in chronological order telling the story of her failed relationship with Liam Hemsworth. Cyrus described Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz (2015) as "a little psychedelic, but still in that pop world". For her rock-influenced album, Plastic Hearts, Cyrus cited Britney Spears and Metallica as major influences.
Cyrus has become known for her controversial performances, most notably on her Bangerz Tour (2014) and Milky Milky Milk Tour (2015). Her performance of "Party in the U.S.A." at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards sparked a "national uproar" because of her outfit and perceived pole dancing. She faced similar controversy over her performance of "Can't Be Tamed" (2010) on Britain's Got Talent, where the singer pretended to kiss one of her female backup dancers onstage; she defended the performance, arguing that she did nothing wrong. Cyrus became the subject of media and public scrutiny following her performance of "We Can't Stop" (2013) and "Blurred Lines" (2013) with Robin Thicke at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. Clad in a flesh-colored latex two-piece, she touched Thicke's crotch area with a giant foam finger and twerked against his crotch. The performance resulted in a media frenzy; one reviewer likened the performance to a "bad acid trip", while another described it as a "trainwreck in the classic sense of the word as the audience reaction seemed to be a mix of confusion, dismay and horror in a cocktail of embarrassment". Cyrus entered the stage of her Bangerz Tour by sliding down a slide in the shape of a tongue, and draw media attention during the tour for her outfits and racy performances.