She’s lived a thousand lives – and she’s yet to turn 30.
Having first leapt into the mainstream consciousness at the age of just 14 as the star of Hannah Montana, Miley Cyrus has never left the spotlight. She’s been a teen idol, a teen rebel, a country star, a tabloid favourite, a rock icon – now she’s ready to just be herself.
Miley has hit the headlines for many reasons during her lifetime, whether it be for her controversial performance alongside Robin Thicke at 2013’s VMAs, smoking a joint on-stage at the EMAs of the same year or her sensational transformations over the years – she’s rarely revealed a new look that hasn’t broken the internet.
However, one of the most shocking stories surrounding her in recent years hit the news back in 2019, as it was revealed that she and her high school sweetheart husband, Liam Hemsworth, had decided to call time on their relationship after just over a year of marriage.
It was a decision that a representative of Miley’s said was made due to the fact that the pair were ‘ever evolving, changing as partners and individuals’. In the time since the split was made public, Cyrus may have evolved more quickly and more profoundly than ever before.
“I would say that there’s kind of a stigma of coldness for a woman who really moves on,” she said during an appearance on Skavlan, back in 2020.
“But I think I’ve gone through a lot of trauma of loss in the last couple of years. I had a house fire in Malibu, I went through a divorce, and recently I lost my grandma. I didn’t really cry over it – it wasn’t because I’m cold or trying to avoid feeling something, but it was just because it wouldn’t change it.”
“I try to just be active in what I can control, otherwise you kind of just start feeling like you’re trapped.”
She went on to describe how she has developed coping mechanisms in order to allow her to react more rationally to life’s experiences.
“You can create these kinds of tools that you use – mine isn’t crying to shed that. Mine is moving forward. I always say I heal through movement, I heal through travelling and meeting new people. As you lose one person, another person comes into your life.”
It has to be said that Miley’s forward movement is clear to see. Having gone back to her country roots for the Younger Now album back in 2017, her 2020 follow-up, Plastic Hearts, saw her break new ground entirely.
Bold, loud and unapologetic, Plastic Hearts was described by NME as possessing ‘grit and a free-wheeling sense of fun’. A look at Cyrus’ ever-changing life reveals that this description matches the artist just as well as the art.
“Every day I say goodbye to myself and I’m not the same the next day,” she told Zane Lowe for Apple Music following the Plastic Hearts release. “Everything changes me forever, every day.”
One aspect of her life that Miley has been a lot more open about since her split from Liam Hemsworth is her sexuality, which she has discussed on several occasions in recent interviews. During an appearance on Barstool Sports’ Call Her Daddy podcast, she expressed how she has found herself gravitating more towards women both physically and emotionally.
“Girls are way hotter – we know this.”
“I felt like the women I ended up being around, the role fit easier for me,” she went on to say, “Even in my relationships with men, I hold a more dominant space.”
Since her divorce, Miley has publicly dated both men and women, having been linked to Instagram star Kaitlynn Carter back in 2019, before getting together with old friend Cody Simpson. The pair dated for ten months before splitting in August 2020 – now Miley is enjoying being single.
It’s a fact that she joked about on her Instagram profile following her performance at the Super Bowl earlier this year, stitching a clip of her teenage self on Hannah Montana proclaiming that she had ‘no problem not having a boyfriend’, before fast-forwarding to a candid on-stage moment.
“I’m single now, you know,” she told the crowd, “After COVID, I’m ready.”
While the ongoing pandemic may have slowed progress on her love life somewhat, it’s been a good opportunity for her creatively, having done much of the work on Plastic Hearts over the summer of 2020.
It also gave her the opportunity to speak more closely with fans – and to invite some other familiar faces to do the same. Her Instagram live talk show, ‘Bright Minded’, was one of the first big arrivals on the quarantine-tainment scene, with a guest list boasting stars such as Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato and Sir Elton John.
“I loved how there was really no pressure,” she told Variety’s iHeart podcast, “If the show went over, if the show had tech problems… it was just about doing it for the love of it.”
When asked if she was considering developing her show for television in future, she responded with a playful ‘We’ll see’.
So, where can we expect to see Miley next? As of yet, we don’t know.
Whatever she does, though, we’re sure it’s going to be unapologetically Miley.