Miley Cyrus Turns 21: A Look Back at Her Wild Year
7:08 AM PST 11/22/2013 by THR Staff
As the twerk-happy pop singer celebrates her milestone birthday Nov. 23, The Hollywood Reporter looks back at the headlines -- and controversies -- she's generated this year, from her racy Video Music Awards performance to her joint-smoking stunt at the MTV European Music Awards.
In 2012, the then 19-year-old Cyrus announced her engagement to Hunger Games actor Liam Hemsworth with a tweet that also said, "life is beautiful." The couple experienced an on-again, off-again relationship since first meeting on the set of the 2009 film The Last Song but ended it -- seemingly for good -- earlier this year. "I think people spend more time actually thinking about it than I really do," she told Ellen DeGeneres in October. "I just believe when a chapter is done, you have to close it and start that new one. That's kind of where I am right now. I felt like I have so much to be thankful for at this time that my energy hasn't really been focused on that."
Cyrus tweeted this photo of herself mid-twerk earlier this year. Her dance moves would later show up in the video for "We Can't Stop" and her VMA performance.
'We Can't Stop' Music Video
This summer Cyrus showed she was no longer the squeaky-clean Disney star from Hannah Montana as she stripped down to crop tops and bodysuits and danced with giant teddy bears.
'Miley: The Movement'
The MTV special documented the singer's "movement" (not "transition") from family-friendly tween to twerking 20-year-old, featuring interviews with Pharrell, momager Tish Cyrus and Cyrus herself, set alongside behind-the-scenes footage of Cyrus rehearsing, traveling and recording. "For me, the movement needs to be something bigger than just a record," she explained in the doc. "For me, a movement is something that represents taking over the world."
In October, Bangerzdebuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, selling 270,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Counting Cyrus' soundtrack albums as the Disney character Hannah Montana, this marked her fifth No. 1 album.
V Magazine Cover
Cyrus sported an edgy punk-rock look on the cover of V Magazine earlier this year. The Mario Testino-shot cover features her wearing a pair of black-and-white underwear and a suit jacket without a bra.
MTV VMA Performance
Cyrus ignited a Twitter frenzy when she performed a racy version of her hit "We Can't Stop" and accompanied Robin Thicke on a duet of "Blurred Lines" at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. Wearing a furry bustier, Cyrus twerked, grinded, grabbed the rear end of one of her dancers, and touched herself and Thicke suggestively with a foam finger.
Topless on Rolling Stone Cover
Cyrus went topless on the cover of the October 2013 issue of Rolling Stone. Responding to critics of her new image, she told the magazine: "People are like, 'Miley thinks she's a black girl, but she's got the flattest ass ever.' I'm like, I'm 108 pounds! I know!"
'Wrecking Ball' Music Video
Cyrus scored her first Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 with this single on the heels of the buzzy video, in which she appears naked while swinging a wrecking ball and licking a metal hammer, among other R-rated acts. The video also set a 24-hour record on Vevo, racking up 19.3 million views and smashing previous champs One Direction.
Cyrus was a popular costume choice this Halloween, but the pop star herself picked another provocative musician to dress up as: Lil' Kim. Cyrus copied Kim's 1999 Video Music Awards outfit, the one with the lavender jumpsuit and matching nipple pasty and wig, showing off her costume on Instagram.
Hosting 'Saturday Night Live'
Cyrus served as host and musical guest on the Oct. 5 installment of NBC's comedy-sketch show, her best moment coming during a digital short that took on the government shutdown to the tune of her hit "We Can't Stop." Cyrus took on the role of a sexy version of Republican congresswoman Michele Bachmann, singing "We Did Stop (The Government)."
Twerking and Spanking on German TV
In September, Cyrus went on the German TV show Schlag den Raab, where she slapped the rear end of a twerking little person while performing her hit "We Can't Stop." Cyrus, who already had shocked the MTV Video Music Awards audience with a racy performance of the single, was relatively tamer for most of this rendition, sporting a leather crop top, sequined jacket and cut-off jean shorts as opposed to the teddy-bear bustier and flesh-colored bikini she wore on the VMA stage.
At the MTV EMAs in Amsterdam in November,Cyrus lit up a joint while accepting the award for "Wrecking Ball" in the best video category. After being greeted with a standing ovation from some parts of the arena, she said: "I couldn't fit this award in my bag, but I did find this."