Sometimes, celebrities work their entire lives without drawing any controversy to their name, which is something that, these days, should earn them an award on its own. Everything celebrities do today is inspected under a microscope, and it is impossible to evade the bad reviews, critics, and people talking about how they should live their lives. This is just a fact.
So while very few go their entire careers without stepping off the line, the grand majority have their share of controversy. And even within those who have their share of controversy, few have been protagonists in as many controversies as Miley Cyrus has by the age of 24. We all watched Miley grow up into the woman she is today. So we can confidently say that if someone back in the mid-2000’s–while she was still playing the role of Hannah Montana–predicted the shift that Miley’s career would take after she ditched that second personality, you would think that person was crazy and laugh at them.
We got used to seeing Miley as Hannah Montana, so we never expected her to become the complete opposite of that. So when reality hit and she made her effort in getting away from the shadow of Hannah Montana, people went insane and didn’t even know what to think or what to do. Seriously, who was not blindsided by her 2013 VMA performance?
Despite only being 24 years old, Miley has already experienced most of what a celebrity can expect. So, we’re here to discuss a little bit about Miley’s top moments and separate seven things that the future Mrs. Hemsworth wants you to know and eight things she wants you to forget.
15 Forget: The Wrecking Ball
This might have not exactly been her turning point, but the Wrecking Ball music video was undoubtedly one moment that defined the character of Miley Cyrus for years to come. But there were silver linings to this much controversial music video she might stand by, but not entirely. After all, Wrecking Ball was the first song to take Miley to the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 list. That is the kind of recognition all artists are looking for whenever they put out a new song.
Still, that doesn’t draw away too much from the fact that a good portion of the video is composed of her riding on top of a wrecking ball, naked. While we have to admit that that is as creative as music videos come, it is still weird. In other parts of the video, she is doing stuff like licking a metal hammer and other things that would rightfully lead people to tell themselves, “Okay, Miley’s crazy now.”
Either way, this is one controversial moment that sure helped Miley rack in a lot of dollars because of the visibility it gave her.
14 Remember: Her Award List
Miley Cyrus is one of the most famous artists on our planet. And while many people managed to attain fame without getting the proportional recognition for the work they do, she is someone who has quite a lot of awards to show for and back up her massive following. For example, in 2014, she won a pair of Billboard Music Awards, one as the Top Streaming Artist for that year and the second was that her Wrecking Ball video was selected as the Top Streaming Song (video) for that year.
Miley even had her shot at the biggest music award anyone could receive as she came razor-close to winning her first Grammy Award in 2015. During that year, her album Bangerz, was nominated for the award for Best Pop Vocal Album.
She also came close to big screen recognition as her song I Thought I Lost You was nominated for the Best Original Song at the 2008 Golden Globe Awards. And this is a list that is sure to keep getting bigger and bigger as the years go by, so Miley would definitely want you to know this.
13 Remember: Saturday Night Live
Who doesn’t love Saturday Night Live? It is the one show that makes fun of everything and everyone while still trying to convey a serious message at the end. Well, maybe not. Maybe they’re all about the comedy. But who cares? It’s funny as hell.
Either way, Saturday Night Live is hilarious, and one of the things we love about the program is that it gives some of our favorite celebrities the chance to host the show. Yes, we usually see these people singing and acting, but we never really think about how funny they can be in another environment. In October of 2013, after her insane VMA Awards performance, Miley got a shot at hosting the comedy juggernaut.
Since she was in the news 24/7 after the VMA’s, her hosting SNL made a lot of people tune in to the show that night. Still, unlike many of her critics would have wanted, the show came out a success and drew a lot of positive reviews. It was also one of the highest rated SNL episodes of that year.
12 Forget: The First Leak
Leaks of celebrities’ private images and information have become common over these past few years. However, as much as they might be common, they can still be incredibly destructive to someone’s image. Back in April of 2008, Miley was still only 15 years old, but her image had just started to change a little bit as she was beginning to stray away from the path of Disney’s Hannah Montana. Something she certainly did not plan, but ultimately helped her get away from that good girl image, was when a hacker found out her Gmail and MySpace passwords and went on to leak some private pictures she had taken and sent to her boyfriend at the time, Thomas Sturges.
Although that could very well be considered a distribution of child p*rn*graphy, there was nothing too intense about the pictures as the most suggestive one, according to Rolling Stone, was one in which she flashed her bra to the camera.
11 Remember: Her Identity
Celebrities have always spearheaded movements of change in history, but it was never as prominent as it is these days, especially when it comes to s*xual identity and other big-time issues of our time. There is prejudice everywhere, and a lot of it seems to be because people are not educated enough to understand what is really going on. Sure, there are the cases of people who do not want to learn, but it mostly appears to be an issue of awareness.
Hence, celebrities have gladly taken the roles of educators in order to bring awareness to some of these issues. Miley is one of these celebrities. Not too long ago, she came out to the world as a pans*xual, and that was when most people started trying to understand what that actually means.
This is important work and something that Miley is proud of.
10 Forget: The Second Leak
You’ll have a hard time finding a female star who has had to deal with so many picture leaks as Miley Cyrus did (at such a young age). Just a few months after that first leak of private images hit the Internet, another hacker was able to find out a way to get even more private pictures of Miley. The first thing we have to point out is that just after you have been caught with something like this, one would imagine that an up-and-coming artist would take a break from taking private pictures and sending them to other people since they now perfectly know the risk of these pics ending up on the Internet.
Miley did not follow that train of thought, apparently. The second leak was way more intense than the first one, as this time, the hackers got their hands on pictures that were supposedly intended for her then-boyfriend, Nick Jonas, and showed more than just a glimpse of her bra.
9 Remember: Big Fish
It is not difficult to find singers and models who try their hand at acting at some point in their careers. Miley was no different, and she has had her share of appearances on the small and big screens. After all, her breakout success was on the small screen portraying the music star Hannah Montana. But even before that gig, she had her shot at appearing on the big screen and did not disappoint.
In 2003, she played the timeless role of Young Ruthie in the classic Tim Burton movie, Big Fish. The film became an industry classic and got quite the box office return, as it brought back about $122.9 million while its budget was somewhere around the $70 million mark. The movie also showed how much talent Miley had for performing on the big screen. It also doesn’t hurt to be part of a production that was nominated for four Golden Globes.
8 Forget: The 2009 Teen Choice Awards
The Teen Choice Awards were supposed to be a mecca for children and teenagers to meet and watch their favorite young stars perform on the big stage. Hence, it was common sense that the performances would be of the “PG kind.” But hey, Miley had just turned 16, she already had a couple of private picture leaks on her rap sheet, and she wanted to do more. Hannah Montana was not cutting it anymore, and when “Party in the USA” started playing in that year’s Teen Choice Awards, she took a line of action that went against what a lot of parents in that audience thought would be appropriate for their children to watch.
Again, this changes in opinion from one person to the next, as for some folks, this was not a big deal while for others, it meant that the world was going down. Either way, the controversy happened because while performing her hit song, Miley bust out a pole dancing routine you would not expect to see from a 16-year-old.
7 Remember: Hanna Montana
For a good part of these recent years, Miley has put a lot of effort into distancing herself from the past and the figure of Hannah Montana. Sure, she has become her own woman and wanted people to see her for who she really is. But, we still find it hard to believe that Miley Cyrus would ever want people to forget where she came from completely. It is the equivalent of somebody who didn’t like his/her high school or college. You may complain about it or you may sometimes talk trash to other people about it, but at the end of the day, you still want people to remember where you came from. It is part of your identity.
And for Miley, this is nothing to be ashamed of. She was one of the biggest teen stars in history. Her show was arguably one of the most popular ever in the Disney Channel, and it only takes a YouTube search for anyone to see how many people gathered to watch any of her live concerts as Hannah Montana.
6 Forget: The Cake
There was a huge buzz around the media when the mere idea of Miley Cyrus smoking weed started crossing people’s minds. We already talked about the bong incident that apparently did not contain weed but Salvia. But as fans and critics alike would later find out, Miley liked smoking weed, and she was not ashamed or afraid of telling anyone about it. Hence, this might not be an entry she does not want you to remember, but it sure is one that her publicists did not enjoy hearing about at the time.
Back in 2011, as she turned 19, Miley received a special gift from her close friends. That gift came in the shape of a cake. And that cake came with a special theme. You know where we’re going with this, right?
Yes, the theme of her birthday cake was Bob Marley. And leave it to Miley to tell you the reason for that, as she was caught on tape saying, “You know you are a stoner when your friends make you a Bob Marley cake.”
5 Remember: She Beat The Olympics With A Haircut
Every four years, a different country around the world hosts the Summer Olympics, which are basically the most important sporting event in the world with the possible exception of the World Cup, which is watched by a ridiculous amount of people. Nevertheless, once the Olympics are on the scene, it is hard to think about something else that could draw away publicity and crowd engagement from an event of that stature.
Nevertheless, it seems like in today’s society, if celebrities want it, they have enough of a pull in society to take away from the Olympics the title of most talked-about event at any given point. You think we are kidding? Then just hear it out for a second. Back in 2012, the London Olympics were at their closing ceremonies when they suddenly became the second most talked-about news of the day. The biggest? Miley changed her haircut. Seriously, we are not kidding. This happened.
4 Forget: Rap Music
Before we go back to some of her most memorable controversies and moments she does not want people to remember, we have to talk about a more recent Miley Cyrus scandal. It has become etiquette among singers and artists alike not to criticize other people’s genres and works. After all, everyone already has enough haters and critics to worry about without other artists trying to rain on their parade.
Well, a couple of years ago, Miley threw that unwritten rule out of the window and made some pretty detrimental comments about the genre of modern hip-hop and rap music.
“I can’t listen to that anymore. That’s what pushed me out of the hip-hop scene a little. It was too much ‘Lamborghini, got my Rolex, got a girl on my cock’ — I am so not that,” she said in an interview to Billboard.com.
Needless to say, the hip-hop and rap community was not too happy to hear about those comments.
3 Forget: The Salvia Incident
Drugs and celebrities are seen together more often than peanut butter and jelly. But while one of these two is something awesome that most people in the world love, the other one is a trend that usually leads to self-destructive behavior by celebrities. Nevertheless, this has become so common in our world that we are not even surprised whenever a new star is caught doing drugs or is busted for possession.
Still, whenever this happens to a former Disney star, especially one who just turned 18 years old, it simply cannot escape the news. When a video was shot and leaked from Miley Cyrus’ LA home just five days after she became a legal adult, the rumor was that she was taking hits from a bong and smoking weed. It turns out that someone close to Miley said she was trying out a natural herb called Salvia. Either way, this is the kind of news she is probably not too keen on having people remember all the time.
2 Remember: Liam Hemsworth
Most people around the world now know Miley as someone who became famous because she steered away from the good girl image and became one of the “craziest” singers around the globe. Ninety percent of that had to do with her performance at the 2013 VMA Awards where she steered right into the controversy. However, there is one side of her life that seems to anchor back Miley to the idea that she is a good girl. And that is her relationship with Liam Hemsworth. The two of them started dating during the filming of The Last Song and soon became one of the most beloved celebrity couples in the world.
If you have gotten this far down on this list, you know how much of a backlash and pain it caused to their fans when these two eventually broke up.
Luckily, they have gotten back together in 2016. And this time, it seems like they are in it for the long haul, as Miley and Liam announced their engagement in October of that same year.
1 Forget: The 2013 VMA Performance
We said Wrecking Ball was an important moment in defining her character, but it wasn’t the turning point of Miley Cyrus’ career. Well, although all of you knew that this was coming, this was undoubtedly the turning point that put the final nail in the coffin of Hannah Montana and allowed this new, peculiar version of Miley Cyrus to come out of her cocoon.
And while it was empowering for many people to watch her “groundbreaking” performance at the 2013 VMA awards, it was a disturbing sight, to say the least. The first reason for that was that no one expected to see what happened on that stage. People thought they would get a regular excellent musical performance to celebrate the best of the music industry in that year, but they ended up watching Miley twerking and grinding on Robin Thicke.
Let’s just say that the only person in that entire audience who had the right idea was Drake.