Against the advice of her father's record company, Cyrus's parents secretly married on December 28, 1993, a year after her birth. They had two more children together, son Braison and daughter Noah. From previous relationships, her mother has two other children, Brandi and Trace. Her father's first child, Christopher Cody, was born in April 1992. He grew up with his mother, Kristin Luckey, in South Carolina.
Destiny Hope Cyrus was born November 23, 1992, in Franklin, Tennessee, to Leticia (Tish) Jean Finley and country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. Her parents married the next year. Cyrus was born with supraventricular tachycardia, a condition causing an abnormal resting heart rate. Her birth name, Destiny Hope, expressed her parents' belief that she would accomplish great things. Her parents nicknamed her "Smiley", which they later shortened to "Miley", because she often smiled as an infant. In 2008, she changed her name to Miley Ray Cyrus; her middle name honors her grandfather, Democratic politician Ronald Ray Cyrus from Kentucky. Cyrus's godmother is entertainer Dolly Parton.
Cyrus attended Heritage Elementary School in Williamson County, when her family lived in Thompson's Station, Tennessee. When she was hired for Hannah Montana, the family moved to Los Angeles, where she attended Options for Youth Charter Schools and studied with a private tutor on set. Raised a Christian, she was baptized in a Southern Baptist church before moving to Hollywood in 2005. She attended church regularly while growing up and wore a purity ring. In 2001, when Cyrus was eight, she and her family moved to Toronto, Ontario, Canada while her father filmed the television series Doc. After Billy Ray took her to see a 2001 Mirvish production of Mamma Mia! at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, Cyrus grabbed his arm and told him, "This is what I want to do, daddy. I want to be an actress." She began singing and acting lessons at the Armstrong Acting Studio in Toronto.
Cyrus's debut acting role was portraying a girl named Kylie in her father's television series Doc. In 2003, Cyrus received credit under her birth name for her role as "Young Ruthie" in Tim Burton's Big Fish. During this period, she auditioned with Taylor Lautner for the feature film The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D. Although she was one of two finalists for the role, she chose Hannah Montana instead.
Cyrus auditioned for the Disney Channel television series Hannah Montana when she was eleven years old. She auditioned for the role of the title character's best friend, but was called to audition for the lead role instead. Despite being denied the part at first because she was too "young and small" for the role, she was selected later as the lead because of her singing and acting abilities. The series premiered in March 2006 to the largest audience for a Disney Channel program, and quickly ranked among the highest-rated series on basic cable. The success of the series led to Cyrus being labeled a "teen idol". She toured with The Cheetah Girls as Hannah Montana in September 2006, performing songs from the show's first season. Walt Disney Records released a soundtrack credited to Cyrus' character in October of that year. The record was a commercial success, topping the Billboard 200 chart in the United States; it went on to sell over three million copies worldwide. With the release of the soundtrack, Cyrus became the first act within The Walt Disney Company to have deals in television, film, consumer products, and music.
Cyrus has stated that she dated singer and actor Nick Jonas from June 2006 to December 2007, claiming they were "in love" and began dating soon after they first met. Her relationship with Jonas, as well as her "spoofing" fellow Disney alums Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato, attracted considerable media attention. Cyrus was in a nine-month relationship with model Justin Gaston from 2008 to 2009. She has also been romantically linked to actor Josh Bowman, producer Mike Will Made It, comedian Dane Cook, model Stella Maxwell, and actor Patrick Schwarzenegger.
Cyrus signed a four-album recording contract with Hollywood Records to distribute her non-Hannah Montana soundtrack music. She released the two-disc album Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus in June 2007. The first disc was credited as the second soundtrack by "Hannah Montana", while the second disc served as Cyrus' debut studio album. The album became her second to reach the top of the Billboard 200, and has sold over three million copies since its release. Months after the release of the project, "See You Again" (2007) was released as the lead single from the album. The song was a commercial success, and has sold over two million copies in the United States since its release. She then collaborated with her father on the single "Ready, Set, Don't Go" (2007). Cyrus embarked on her highly successful Best of Both Worlds Tour (2007–08) to promote its release. Ticketmaster officials commented that "there [hadn't] been a demand of this level or intensity since The Beatles or Elvis". The tour's success led to the theatrical release of the 3D concert film Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert (2008). While initially intended to be a limited release, the film's success led to a longer run.
Throughout her career, Cyrus has sung on several charity singles such as: "Just Stand Up!", "Send It On", "Everybody Hurts" and "We Are the World 25 for Haiti". She has visited a number of sick fans in hospitals throughout the years. She is an avid supporter of the City of Hope National Medical Center in California, having attended benefit concerts in 2008, 2009 and 2012. In 2008 and 2009, during her Best of Both Worlds and Wonder World Tours, for every concert ticket sold, she donated one dollar to the organization. Cyrus celebrated her sixteenth birthday at Disneyland by delivering a $1 million donation from Disney to Youth Service America. In July 2009, Cyrus performed at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation's 20th annual A Time for Heroes celebrity picnic and donated several items including autographed merchandise, and a script from Hannah Montana for the Ronald McDonald House Auction. Cyrus supports charities such as: the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Entertainment Industry Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, United Service Organizations, Youth Service America and Music for Relief. In February 2010, she donated several items, including the dress she wore to the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards, and two tickets to the Hollywood premiere of her movie The Last Song, to raise money for the victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
Cyrus and friend Mandy Jiroux began posting videos on the popular website YouTube in February 2008, referring to the clips as "The Miley and Mandy Show"; the videos garnered a large online following. In April 2008, several images of Cyrus in her underwear and swimsuit were leaked by a teenage hacker who accessed her Gmail account. Further controversy arose when it was reported that Cyrus, then fifteen, had posed topless during a photo shoot with Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair. The New York Times later clarified that although the pictures left the impression that she was bare-breasted, Cyrus was wrapped in a bed sheet and was not topless.
While filming The Last Song, Cyrus began an on-again, off-again relationship with her co-star, Liam Hemsworth, in 2009. They were first engaged from May 2012 until September 2013. They rekindled their relationship in March 2016, and became re-engaged that October. In November 2018, Cyrus revealed on social media that her and Hemsworth's home had burned down in the Woolsey Fire, and expressed devastation for her community and gratitude for the safety of herself, Hemsworth, and their pets. On December 23, Cyrus and Hemsworth married in a private wedding ceremony in their home in Nashville, Tennessee. She felt that her marriage "[redefined] what it looks like for someone that's a queer person like [herself] to be in a hetero relationship" though she was "still very sexually attracted to women". Cyrus indicated that the ceremony was "kind of out of character for [her]" because "[they have] worn rings forever [and] definitely didn't need it in any way". She believed the loss of their home to be the catalyst for getting married, citing that "the timing felt right" and that "no one is promised the next day, or the next, so [she tries] to be 'in the now' as much as possible". On August 10, 2019, Cyrus announced their separation. Eleven days later, Hemsworth filed for divorce, citing "irreconcilable differences". To commemorate her divorce from Hemsworth, Cyrus had a note written to her from Yoko Ono tattooed on her left shoulder blade.
In March 2009, Cyrus released "The Climb" (2009) as a single from the soundtrack to the Hannah Montana feature film. It was met with a warm critical and commercial reaction, becoming a crossover hit in both pop and country music formats. The soundtrack, which features the single, went on to become Cyrus' fourth entry to top the Billboard 200; this made her, at sixteen, the youngest performer in history to have four number one albums on the chart. She released her fourth soundtrack as "Hannah Montana" in July 2009, which debuted at number two on the Billboard 200. Cyrus later launched her first fashion line, Miley Cyrus and Max Azria, through Walmart. It was promoted by the release of "Party in the U.S.A." (2009) and the EP The Time of Our Lives (2009). Cyrus said the album was "a transitioning album [...] really to introduce people to what I want my next record to sound like and with time I will be able to do that a little more". "Party in the U.S.A." went on to become one of Cyrus' most successful singles to date, and is considered one of her signature songs. She next embarked on her first world tour, the Wonder World Tour (2009), which was a critical and commercial success. On December 7, 2009, Cyrus performed for Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the British Royal Family at the Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool, Lancashire.
Cyrus was placed at number seventeen on Forbes' list of the most powerful celebrities in 2014, with the magazine noting that "The last time she made our list was when she was still rolling in Hannah Montana money. Now the pop singer is all grown up and courting controversy at every turn." In August 2014, it was reported that Bluewater Productions has documented her life in a comic book called Fame: Miley Cyrus, starting with her controversial 2013 MTV Video Music Awards performance to her Disney fame, and exploring her childhood in Tennessee. The comic book was written by Michael L. Frizell and drawn by Juan Luis Rincón, and is available in both print and digital formats. In September 2010, Cyrus was ranked number ten on Billboard magazine's first ever list of Music's Hottest Minors of 2010, and was ranked number twenty-one on the 2011, and number eighteen on the 2012 version of the list. In May 2013, Maxim ranked Cyrus first on their Hot 100 of the year. Cyrus was chosen by Time magazine as one of their finalists for Person of the Year in November 2013. She came in third place with 16.3% of the vote. In March 2014, Skidmore College, New York started offering a special topics sociology course entitled "The Sociology of Miley Cyrus: Race, Class, Gender and Media" which was "using Miley as a lens through which to explore sociological thinking about identity, entertainment, media and fame". In 2015, Cyrus was listed as one of the nine runners-up for The Advocate's Person of the Year.
Cyrus was the center of more controversy when a video posted online in December 2010 showed a then eighteen Cyrus smoking salvia with a bong. 2010 ended with her ranked number thirteen on Forbes Celebrity 100 list.
In January 2011, Cyrus met an ailing fan with spina bifida with the charity Kids Wish Network. In April 2011, she appeared in a commercial for the American Red Cross asking people to pledge $10 to help those affected by the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami. In the same year Hilary Duff presented Cyrus with the first ever Global Action Youth Leadership Award at the first Annual Global Action Awards Gala for her support of Blessings in a Backpack, an organization that works to feed hungry children in schools, and her personal Get Ur Good On campaign with the Youth Services of America. Cyrus stated: "I want (kids) to do something they love. Not something that seems like a chore because someone tells them that's the right thing to do or what their parents want or what's important to people around them, but what's in their heart." In December 2011, she appeared in a commercial for the charity J/P Haitian Relief Organization, and teamed up with her elder brother Trace Cyrus to design a limited edition T-shirt and hoodie for charity. All proceeds from the sale of these items went to her charity, Get Ur Good On, which supports education for under-privileged children. In the same month, she performed her song "The Climb" at the CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
Cyrus hosted the March 5, 2011, episode of Saturday Night Live, during which she performed in a number of skits and poked fun at her recent controversies. She later made an appearance on the MTV series Punk'd, appearing with Kelly Osbourne and Khloé Kardashian. Cyrus starred in the independent film LOL (2012) with Demi Moore. The film had a limited release, and was critically and commercially unsuccessful. She then starred in the comedy film So Undercover, appearing as an FBI agent who is required to go undercover at a college sorority.
In 2012, Cyrus released a cover version of Bob Dylan's "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go" featuring Johnzo West for the charity Amnesty International as a part of the album Chimes of Freedom. She also appeared in a commercial for the Rock the Vote campaign which encouraged young people to make their voices heard by voting in the 2012 federal election. For her twentieth birthday, activists at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) adopted a pig called Nora in her name. Cyrus also supports thirty-nine well-known charities including: Make-a-Wish Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, To Write Love on Her Arms, NOH8 Campaign, Love Is Louder Than the Pressure to Be Perfect and The Jed Foundation among others. In 2013, Cyrus was named the fourteenth most charitable celebrity of the year by Do Something. She also appeared with Justin Bieber and Pitbull in a television special entitled The Real Change Project: Artists for Education. On July 26, 2014, it was announced that Cyrus would appear alongside Justin Timberlake at an HIV/AIDS charity event in the White House.
Cyrus is open about her recreational use of cannabis. She told Rolling Stone in 2013 that it was "the best drug on earth" and called it, along with MDMA, a "happy drug". While accepting the Best Video award at the 2013 MTV Europe Music Awards, Cyrus smoked what appeared to be a joint on stage; this was removed from the delayed broadcast of the program in the United States. In a 2014 interview with W, Cyrus stated "I love weed" and "I just love getting stoned." On a 2017 episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Cyrus revealed that she quit cannabis before the press tour of her album Younger Now so she could be "super clear" when discussing the record. She credited her mother for reintroducing her to cannabis during a 2018 interview with Andy Cohen. In 2019, Cyrus sent "Nothing Breaks Like a Heart" collaborator Mark Ronson a cannabis bouquet from Lowell Herb Co as a tongue-in-cheek Valentine's Day gift. She invested in the cannabis company in August.
In 2013, Cyrus hired Larry Rudolph to be her manager (though she is currently managed by Maverick's Adam Leber); Rudolph is best known for representing Britney Spears. It was soon confirmed that Cyrus had signed a new recording contract with RCA Records to distribute her future releases. She worked with producers such as Pharrell Williams and Mike Will Made-It on her fourth studio album, resulting in a hip-hop influenced sound. She collaborated with numerous hip-hop artists' releases and appeared on the Snoop Lion song "Ashtrays and Heartbreaks" (2013), released as the lead single from his twelfth studio album, Reincarnated, in April 2013. She worked with will.i.am on the song "Fall Down" (2013), released as a promotional single that same month. The song entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number fifty-eight, marking her first appearance on the chart since "Can't Be Tamed" (2010). She provided guest vocals on the Lil Twist song "Twerk", which also featured vocals by Justin Bieber. The song went unreleased for unknown reasons, though it was leaked online. On May 23, 2013, it was confirmed that Cyrus would be featured on the Mike Will Made It single "23", with Wiz Khalifa and Juicy J. The single went on to peak at number eleven on the Hot 100, and had sold over one million copies worldwide as of 2013.
On October 2, MTV aired the documentary Miley: The Movement, that chronicled the recording of her fourth studio album Bangerz, which was released on October 4. It was a commercial success, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 with first week sales of 270,000 copies. On October 5, Cyrus hosted Saturday Night Live for the second time. On November fifth, rapper Future's "Real and True" was released as a single featuring Cyrus and Mr. Hudson; an accompanying music video premiered five days later on November 10, 2013. In late 2013 she was declared Artist of the Year by MTV. On January 29, 2014, she played an acoustic concert show on MTV Unplugged, performing songs from Bangerz featuring a guest appearance by Madonna. It became the highest rated MTV Unplugged in the past decade with over 1.7 million streams. Cyrus was also featured in the Marc Jacobs spring 2014 ad campaign along with Natalie Westling and Esmerelda Seay Reynolds. She launched her controversial Bangerz Tour (2014) that year, which received a generally positive reception. About two months into her tour, Cyrus' Alaskan Klee Kai was found mauled to death at her home after fighting with a coyote. The trauma from the incident inspired her to dedicate her life to veganism. Two weeks later, Cyrus suffered an allergic reaction to the antibiotic cephalexin, prescribed to treat a sinus infection, resulting in her hospitalization in Kansas City. Though she rescheduled some of her US tour dates, she resumed the tour two weeks later, beginning with the European leg.
While collaborating with The Flaming Lips on their remake of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, With a Little Help from My Fwends, Cyrus began working with Wayne Coyne on her fifth studio album. She claimed that she was taking her time to focus on the music, and that the album would not be released until she felt it was ready. Coyne compared his collaborative material with Cyrus to the catalogs of Pink Floyd and Portishead, and described their sound as being "a slightly wiser, sadder, more true version" of Cyrus' pop music output. Cyrus also worked on the films The Night Before (2015) and A Very Murray Christmas (2015) during this period; both roles were cameos. Reports began to surface in 2015 that Cyrus was working on two albums simultaneously, one of which she hoped to release at no charge. This was confirmed by her manager who claimed she was willing to end her contract with RCA Records if they refused to let her release a free album. Cyrus was the host of the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, making her the first openly pansexual host of those awards, and gave a surprise performance of a new song "Dooo It!" (2015) during the show's finale. Immediately following the performance, Cyrus announced that her fifth studio album, Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz (2015), was available for free streaming on SoundCloud. The album was written and produced primarily by Cyrus, and has been called experimental and psychedelic, with elements of psychedelic pop, psychedelic rock, and alternative pop.
Cyrus came out as pansexual to her mother when she was 14 and has said: "I never want to label myself! I am ready to love anyone that loves me for who I am! I am open." In June 2015, TIME magazine reported she is gender fluid. She was quoted as stating she "doesn't relate to being boy or girl, and I don't have to have my partner relate to boy or girl." Cyrus stated she is "literally open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn't involve an animal and everyone is of age".
On June 15, 2015, Cyrus unleashed the campaign #InstaPride in collaboration with Instagram. The campaign features a series of portraits starring transgender and gender-expansive people, which were posted to her Instagram feed with the hashtags "#HappyHippiePresents" and "#InstaPride". It was aimed at encouraging diversity and tolerance by showing these people in a positive light as examples for others who might be struggling to figure themselves out, as well as a reference point for people who didn't know personally anyone in that situation. Cyrus was the one behind the camera for the photoshoot the whole time and even interviewed her 14 subjects to share their personal stories along with their portraits. She decided to predominate the color yellow since she believes it is a happy and not sexualized color. She said she wanted to bring attention and celebrate people who wouldn't normally find themselves being the stars of a photoshoot or wouldn't find themselves on the cover of a magazine.
In 2016, following the release of her fifth studio album the previous year, Cyrus resumed working on her upcoming sixth studio album. She was a key advisor during the tenth season of the reality singing competition The Voice. In March, it was announced that Cyrus had signed on as a coach for the eleventh season of The Voice as a replacement for Gwen Stefani; Cyrus is the youngest judge to appear in any incarnation of the series. In September 2016, Cyrus co-starred in Crisis in Six Scenes, a television series Woody Allen created for Amazon Studios. She plays the part of a radical activist who causes chaos in a conservative 1960s household while hiding from the police. On September 17, 2016, she appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon where she sang Bob Dylan's "Baby, I'm In the Mood for You", a rendition that Fallon called "fantastic".
On May 11, 2017, Cyrus released "Malibu" as the lead single from her sixth album. The single debuted at No. 64 on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at No. 10 on the chart on its second week. On June 9, Cyrus released "Inspired" after performing the song at the One Love Manchester benefit concert. It serves as a promotional single from her upcoming album. On August 8, Cyrus announced that her sixth studio album would be titled Younger Now and would be released on September 29, 2017. The album's title track was released as the second single from the album on August 18, and debuted and peaked at No. 79 on the Billboard Hot 100. On August 27, Cyrus performed the track at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards. On September 15, she performed "Malibu", "Younger Now", "See You Again", "Party in the U.S.A." and a cover of Roberta Flack's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" for the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge. Cyrus also returned as a coach in the thirteenth season of The Voice after taking a one-season hiatus. On October 5, 2017, Cyrus confirmed that she would not be returning to The Voice for season fourteen. On October 30, 2017, Cyrus said she would not tour for or release any further singles from Younger Now.
Before the release of Younger Now in September 2017, Cyrus expressed she was "already two songs deep on the next [album]." Producers attached to her seventh studio album include previous collaborator Mike Will Made It and new collaborators Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt. Her first collaboration with Ronson, "Nothing Breaks Like a Heart" from his 2019 album Late Night Feelings, was released on November 29, 2018.
Cyrus starred in "Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too," an episode of the British science fiction series Black Mirror, which she filmed in South Africa in November 2018. It was released on Netflix on June 5, 2019. In the episode, she portrays the fictional pop star Ashley O and provides the voice for her AI doll extension, Ashley Too. The music video for the song "On a Roll" from the episode was released on June 13; the song itself and the B-side "Right Where I Belong" were released to digital platforms the following day. On June 27, it was announced that Cyrus had collaborated with Ariana Grande and Lana Del Rey for the theme song of the 2019 film Charlie's Angels titled "Don't Call Me Angel". In August 2019, Cyrus released "Slide Away", which was her first song since announcing her separation from Hemsworth. The song hinted at their breakup and contained lyrics such as "Move on we're not 17, I'm not who I used to be". A music video was released in September 2019 that contained further references, including a ten of hearts playing card at the bottom of a pool representing her decade-long relationship with Hemsworth drowning. "Don't Call Me Angel" was released on September 13, 2019.
On May 31, 2019, Cyrus tweeted that her seventh studio album would be titled She Is Miley Cyrus and would comprise three six-song EPs, which would be released before the full-length album: She Is Coming on May 31, She Is Here in the summer, and She Is Everything in the fall. She Is Coming debuted at number five on the US Billboard 200 with 36,000 album-equivalent units, while the single "Mother's Daughter" entered at number 54 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
Cyrus released a string of live performances known as the Backyard Sessions through YouTube during the spring and summer of 2012; the performances were of classic songs that Cyrus personally liked. Having begun working on a failed fourth album the previous year, Cyrus resumed working on a new musical project in late 2012. She collaborated with producers Rock Mafia on their song "Morning Sun" (2012), which was made available for free download online. She had previously appeared in the music video for their debut single, "The Big Bang" (2010). Cyrus later provided guest vocals on "Decisions" (2012) by Borgore. Both Cyrus and Hemsworth appeared in the music video for the track. She went on to appear as Missi in two episodes of the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men. Cyrus generated considerable media attention after cutting her traditionally long, brown hair in favor of a blonde, pixie cut; she commented that she had "never felt more [herself] in [her] whole life" and that "it really changed [her] life".