The Many Phases of Miley Cyrus: From ‘Hannah Montana’ to ‘Malibu’

Raechal Leone Shewfelt
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
Miley Cyrus is entering a new phase. (Photo: RCA Records/Miley Cyrus via Instagram)

With her new song “Malibu,” Miley Cyrus once again has a new look. In the video and on the cover of the single — in a photograph shot by none other than her fiancé, Liam Hemsworth — the singer wears minimal makeup and casual clothing while soaking up the sun in a grassy field.

It’s a different Miley than we’re used to seeing. Her previous looks have been a lot louder and sometimes quite revealing. Over the years, she’s made sticking out her tongue a thing, and for a while she was really into neon arts and crafts, but she never keeps one style for very long.

Here’s a look back at some of the Voice coach’s most notable phases.

“Hannah Montana” cutie

Miley Cyrus plays the title character on Hannah Montana. (Photo: DISNEY CHANNEL/BYRON COHEN)

At 13, Cyrus was sweet and, more important, funny as a kid moonlighting secretly as a pop star. She had a cool teen wardrobe but bumped up the glam factor and sported a blond wig in the scenes where she played a famous teen.

Pole-dancing partier

Miley Cyrus dances on a pole at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards. (Photo: Kevin Mazur/TCA 2009/WireImage)
Miley Cyrus dances on a pole at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards. (Photo: Kevin Mazur/TCA 2009/WireImage)

Cyrus was ready to move beyond the phenomenally successful Hannah Montana by the time she was 16, a fact that was obvious when she performed her track “Party in the U.S.A.” at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards wearing a tank top, hip-hugging shorts, and boots, as she danced on a pole. As expected, the performance created quite the controversy.

“Can’t Be Tamed” pop star

Miley Cyrus can’t be tamed in the video for her song. (Photo: Vevo via YouTube)

Seventeen-year-old Cyrus’s “Party in the U.S.A.” look was, well, tame compared with the harsh leather and fishnets look she sported around the time she dropped her Can’t Be Tamed album in 2010. She definitely went goth for a while there.


Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus performed “Blurred Lines” at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. (Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for MTV)

By the time Cyrus was 20, she was seriously ready to reinvent herself. She infamously twerked her way into MTV VMAs history during a scandalous performance of “Blurred Lines” with Robin Thicke.

Tongue wagger

Miley Cyrus sticks out her tongue… a lot. (Photo: Miley Cyrus via Twitter)

Even now, Cyrus’s signature move is sticking out her tongue in photos, no matter what she’s wearing or doing. It’s shorthand for Miley.

Crafty lady

Designer Jeremy Scott walked the runway at a show that Miley accessorized. (Photo: Randy Brooke/WireImage)

Remember when Cyrus was steadily wearing and sharing photos of the neon jewelry that she was making with supplies from the craft store? Designer Jeremy Scott asked the star to create the jewelry for his runway show at New York Fashion Week in September 2014.

Happy hippie

Miley Cyrus shows love for her Happy Hippie Foundation. (Photo: Miley Cyrus via Instagram)

When the animal lover and advocate for the gay and homeless communities launched the Happy Hippie Foundation in 2014, she really got behind it. Cyrus has posed for many a photo while wearing the organization’s smiley face logo. It’s become part of her style.

Marijuana ambassador

Miley Cyrus passes a lit joint in the pressroom at the MTV Video Music Awards. (Photo: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

For years, Cyrus made no secret of the fact that she enjoyed Mary Jane, including that time she continually mentioned her love for weed while hosting the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards. That’s one phase we won’t likely see again for a while, if Cyrus stands behind her surprising decision to lay off the pot “for a second.”


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