Happy birthday, Miley Cyrus! The singer-actress turns 28 on Nov. 23, 2020, and in honor of the occasion, we're taking a look back at her life and career in photos. Keep reading to take a trip down memory lane…
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On Nov. 23, 1992, "Achy Breaky Heart" singer Billy Ray Cyrus and girlfriend Leticia "Tish" Finley welcomed daughter Destiny Hope. (Months earlier, another woman gave birth to Billy Ray's first child, son Christopher Cody.) The following year, while she was pregnant with their second child, son Braison, Tish and the country crooner made it official and married. Billy Ray adopted his new wife's two children from a previous relationship, Brandi and Trace, and in 2000, they made it Seventh Heaven when Tish gave birth to their third child together, daughter Noah. The family of seven lived together on a 500-acre farm outside Nashville where little Destiny earned the nickname Smiley, which was eventually shortened to Miley. Miley Cyrus is seen here with her dad in October 1994 just before her second birthday.
After nearly a decade away from the spotlight, musician Billy Ray Cyrus returned to the small screen in 2001 with a starring role on the TV series "Doc" — and he took his daughter with him. Miley Cyrus appeared on a few episodes of her dad's show from 2001 to 2003 before scoring her big break playing young Ruthie in Tim Burton's 2003 film "Big Fish." Miley and her dad are seen here at the "Over the Hedge" premiere in April 2006.
In 2005, 13-year-old Miley Cyrus won the lead role on the Disney Channel series "Hannah Montana." This time, it was the young actress who gave her famous father a helping hand: Billy Ray Cyrus was cast as her on-screen alter ego's dad. Thus began the early days of Miley Mania! "Hannah Montana" quickly became the most watched show for kids aged 6 to 14 and the series' soundtrack debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. In 2007, Miley released her debut album, "Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus," and headed out on the road on her first tour. Her concert tickets were snapped up so quickly that investigations into ticket sales were launched in at least four states.
Miley Cyrus was first romantically linked to Nick Jonas in July 2007. The following month, the Jonas Brothers appeared on an episode of "Hannah Montana" and joined Miley on the road as an opening act on her debut tour. But it wasn't meant to be for Miley and Nick: They called it quits once in late 2007 before reconciling and then were off and on until 2009. "Nick and I loved each other," she told Seventeen magazine in 2008. "For two years he was basically my 24/7."
It didn't take long for Miley Cyrus to embrace her wild-child ways in spite of her G-rated Disney image. In 2008, risqué photos of the then-15-year-old (seen here at a Grammys event that February) began to surface on the Internet. In one shot, Miley was pictured pulling down her white tank top to reveal a lacy green bra, and in another, she was shown lying across the lap of her then-boyfriend with her midriff exposed. The child star made headlines for the second time in 2008 when she posed for Vanity Fair with only a sheet covering her bare torso, though she was technically clothed from the waist down. The spread drew criticism from the young star's family-oriented and faith-based fans.
In 2008, Miley Cyrus's sophomore album, "Breakout," debuted at No. 1. Later that year, she officially launched her film career, voicing a character in the Disney's animated movie "Bolt." The singer-actress even earned a Golden Globe nomination for best original song for its theme tune, "I Thought I Lost You." She's seen here at the Golden Globes in January 2009.
Miley Cyrus romanced "Nashville Star" contestant Justin Gaston from September 2008 to June 2009. The young singer actress addressed their breakup on Twitter, writing, "Tears are words the heart can't express." Less than a week after her split from Justin, Miley briefly reconciled with Nick Jonas. But it was to be their final romantic reunion: Two months later, the then-16 -year-old was spotted getting cozy off set with her "The Last Song" co-star Liam Hemsworth.
A new love! Miley Cyrus fell in love with Australian hunk Liam Hemsworth on the Georgia set of "The Last Song," a Nicholas Sparks-penned romance. The couple went on to spend a year of bliss together before calling it quits in August 2010. The duo reunited and broke up once more before reconciling once again by the end of the year.
Miley Cyrus isn't the only member of her famous family (she's seen here with her parents and four siblings) who's struggled with an off-and-on romance: In October 2010, her parents announced plans to divorce after 17 years of marriage. But by March 2011, Billy Ray Cyrus and Tish Cyrus had reconciled — at least until two years later, when Tish filed a second set of divorce papers. Somehow, against all odds, the duo reconciled for a second time in mid-2013 and their divorce was later dismissed. The whole clan is seen here at the "Hannah Montana: The Movie" film premiere in April 2009.
Miley Cyrus celebrated her 18th birthday by making headlines with a few scandals. In December 2010, video of the star smoking a hallucinogenic herb leaked. That wouldn't be the last drama, however, as Miley raised eyebrows for some risqué dancing during her "Can't Be Tamed" tour that same year. Miley is seen here at the 2010 American Music Awards, which took place two days before she turned 18.
In May 2012 after three years of dating, 22-year-old Liam Hemsworth proposed to 19-year-old Miley Cyrus with a 3.5-carat diamond ring from Neil Lane. Miley showed off her ring and her new fiancé a month later at the Australians in Film Breakthrough Awards.
Over the course of 2013, Disney star Miley Cyrus completed a dramatic transformation: The shorter she cut her hair, the more rebellious and edgy her image became. In the lead-up to the October 2013 release of her "Bangerz" album, the singer-actress made headlines time and time again for her provocative behavior on social media and in the press.
Miley Cyrus officially shed the last vestiges of her Disney-kid image in August 2013 when she performed at the MTV Video Music Awards alongside Robin Thicke. The bizarre performance, which included plenty of twerking by Miley in a skin colored bikini, became a pop culture moment. Just a few weeks later, it was confirmed that she and Liam Hemsworth had broken up.
Miley Cyrus's "Bangerz" album thrived in the face of controversy and quickly hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts in 2013. The music video for her second single, "Wrecking Ball," in which she swings around without any clothes on while straddling the titular demolition tool, broke Vevo's record for the most-viewed video at the time. Miley's love life appeared to be thriving as well: The singer-actress (seen here at the MTV Europe Music Awards in November 2013) reportedly shared a steamy Halloween makeout session with Good Charlotte rocker Benji Madden and rumors linked her to "Bangerz" producer Mike Will Made It and Rolling Stone photographer Theo Wenner. But a longer-lasting romance was on the horizon…
By November 2014, Miley Cyrus had moved on with none other than Patrick Schwarzenegger. The two attended Hollywood events together and Miley supported Patrick's alma mater, joining the political and acting scion at a USC game on Nov. 13, 2014. By the following April, however, the young couple had called it quits after photos of Patrick taking body shots off a female friend in Mexico were released. A few months later in the summer of 2015, Miley — who self-identifies as gender fluid and pansexual — was romantically linked to Victoria's Secret model Stella Maxwell.
In 2014, Miley Cyrus once again made waves at the MTV Video Music Awards. But it wasn't for courting controversy. When she won the video of the year Moonman for "Wrecking Ball," she asked Jesse Helt, a 22-year-old homeless man she'd met at the nonprofit My Friend's Place, to accept her trophy for her. He used the opportunity to draw attention to the state of youth homelessness in Los Angeles.
Nicki Minaj might have been online feuding with Taylor Swift about nominations leading up to the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, but that all faded away as a new adversary emerged. In the week before the show — which Miley was hosting — Miley called Nicki's comments "not too kind" and "not very polite" in an interview. On the night of the show, Nicki clapped back at Miley on stage, saying, "And now… back to this b**** that had a lot to say about me in the press. Miley, what's good?" This came on the heels of Nicki's win for her "Anaconda" music video. A stunned Miley hesitated before insisting that her comments had been manipulated, to which Nicki could be seen mouthing back, "Don't play with me, b****." Luckily, that seemed to be the end of that weird feud.
By the end of 2015, Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus had reconnected. Within weeks, they were reportedly living in adjacent homes in Malibu and Miley had reportedly given up her party-fueled lifestyle and gotten back into yoga. In 2017, Miley (seen here with Liam at Variety's Power of Women event in October 2016) opened up about why they split in 2013 and what prompted them to get back together. "Changing with someone else not changing like that is too hard," she explained to Billboard. "Suddenly you're like, 'I don't recognize you anymore.' We had to re-fall for each other."
In 2016, Miley Cyrus dazzled audiences when she appeared on "The Voice" as an adviser. She then became a full-time coach on season 11, skipped season 12 then came back for season 13, where she joined Jennifer Hudson, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine in the rotating chairs. Miley gets kudos for being the youngest judge in the show's history.
In May 2017, Miley Cyrus (seen here visiting a radio station that month) released "Malibu," the first single off her sixth studio album, "Younger Now," which came out that September. The following month, Miley revealed she wouldn't be touring to support the album and also wouldn't be returning to her coaching position on "The Voice."
Wedding bells rang for Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth in 2018! That December, the couple — seen here months earlier at the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party — tied the knot at Miley's Tennessee home after dating on and off for nearly a decade. The ceremony shortly after their Malibu home burned down in the traumatic Woolsey Fire as blazes raged across California. She told Vanity Fair, "When you experience what we experienced together with someone, it is like glue. You're the only two people in the world who can understand."
In June 2019, Miley Cyrus made a rare appearance back on the small screen. The star popped up on an episode of season 5 of Netflix's "Black Mirror" as fictional pop star Ashley O.
It's over! In August 2019, Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth announced that they'd split after less than eight months of marriage. Liam soon filed for divorce, and a judge made their breakup official in January 2020. The exes are seen here at a fashion show less than two months before they pulled the plug on their decade-long love affair.
A new love — at least for a little while… Miley Cyrus moved on very quickly after her split from Liam Hemsworth. The same month she and Liam Hemsworth announced their breakup in August 2019, she was spotted getting close to Kaitlynn Carter. The singer-actress and the reality TV personality — who'd split from "The Hills: New Beginnings" star Brody Jenner a few months prior — publicly dated for about six weeks before Miley moved on to another headline-making romance…
After years of friendship, Miley Cyrus started dating Australian singer-songwriter Cody Simpson in October 2019 on the heels of her short headline-making romance with Kaitlynn Carter. He helped nurse her through vocal cord surgery at the end of 2019.
In August 2020 — the same month she confirmed her split from Cody Simpson after about 10 months of dating — Miley Cyrus returned to the spotlight at one of the first red carpet events amid the coronavirus pandemic. The singer-actress was on hand for the MTV Video Music Awards, where she performed new track "Midnight Sky" — her highest charting solo single since "Malibu" back in 2017. She later announced that her seventh studio album, "Plastic Hearts," would drop on Nov. 27, 2020.