In the annals of pop music history, 2013 will forever be known as the year of Miley Cyrus. Facing unprecedented levels of public scrutiny over her racy image, her appropriation of hip hop culture, and even her haircut, the former Disney star still managed to come out on top, releasing her fourth studio album Bangerz to critical acclaim and a number-one spot on the Billboard 200. With production help from top-shelf producers including Pharrell Williams, will.i.am, and Dr. Luke, Bangerz features a unique hybrid of country and hip hop that has clearly resonated with audiences, earning Miley her first US number-one hit “Wrecking Ball.”
Rivaling the success of Bangerz has been the controversy surrounding Miley’s dramatic new image, which borrows heavily from “ratchet” culture in the form of grills, bling, and twerking. Provocative music videos for “Wrecking Ball” (dir. Terry Richardson) and “We Can’t Stop,” along with her infamous performance with Robin Thicke at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, raised more than a few eyebrows, and even inspired a series of concerned open letters from Sinead O’Connor. Debate over Miley’s new image, however, has done nothing to hinder her success -- the videos for “Wrecking Ball” and “We Can’t Stop” shattered Vimeo viewing records, and her VMA performance was the most tweeted about performance in the history of, well, Twitter. Add to that a successful October 5 appearance on Saturday Night Live and you could say Miley’s year has been “pretty cool.” Fans can catch Miley LIVE in concert on her 2013 Jingle Ball tour – even if you don’t know how to twerk, it’s sure to be an experience to remember.
Miley’s career as an entertainer began in 2003 with several small acting roles, including an appearance opposite her father Billy Ray Cyrus on his hit show Doc. In 2006, she launched to mainstream success with her breakout role in Disney’s Hannah Montana, which spawned several films and albums, including her multi-platinum pop debut Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus. In 2009, Miley gained exposure to country audiences with crossover hit “The Climb,” featured on the soundtrack for Hannah Montana: The Movie. Her third studio album, 2010’s Can’t Be Tamed, marked a departure for Miley -- the inclusion of dance elements and a distinctly more suggestive image foreshadowed what would ultimately come to fruition on 2013’s Bangerz, her biggest success to date.