You barely register as a celebrity without a feud—and Miley managed to insert herself into a contentious battle about feminism, race and privilege with Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift. “What’s good” was the throwdown heard ‘round the world, but Miley was quick to move past it (but the memes will live on forever).
When Bangerz became a hit, Miley could have gone the usual route of collaborating on club-friendly songs and working with big-name producers, but instead, she went super-indie with Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz, a self-funded solo album she released for free on a streaming service. She worked with a variety of producers, including her studio fairy godfather Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips, and her Milky Milky Milk tour was a psychedelic trip: think unicorn costumes with strap-ons and a giant baby costume.
While many celebrities painstakingly create social media feeds that are “on brand,” Miley seems determined to keep herself unfiltered in every way. Her Instagram is a mix of candid shots with no absolutely no photo manipulation or tweaks. They are often blurry, out of focus, out of frame, sometimes weird, raw, NSFW and always real. No fancy shoe closets, bouquets of white flowers, product placement or ads—the lack of calculated aesthetics and self-promotion is the essence of Miley 2.0.
As Miley’s career shifted from tween idol to bona fide pop star, her four-year relationship with fiancé Liam Hemsworth took a hit. The two were subject of rumours for months before final calling it quits in September of 2013. Miley went on to date all-American college boy Patrick Schwarzenegger and had a dalliance with VS model Stella Maxwell. But it seems that once you go Hemsworth, you never go back: she and Liam reunited in January 2016 (after she helped him adopt a dog). They are reportedly re-engaged, and Miley hasn’t been shy about showing off her new/old engagement ring.
With some distance from Hannah Montana (Miley has proudly claimed to have killed her, chopped her up and buried her in the backyard), Miley is dipping her toe back into the acting pool with a role in Woody Allen’s untitled Amazon series set in the 1960s. (She also had a standout cameo in Netflix’s A Very Murray Christmas, directed by Sofia Coppola.) And her schedule just got even tighter with news that she’s moved from an advisor on The Voice to a full-time judge next season.
Cause she can’t stop and she won’t stop.