Most people have an opinion on Miley Cyrus. Some find her inspirational and admire her carefree take on life. She is all about preaching that love, after all! Others are less impressed with her risqué lifestyle choices and feel she should set a better example for younger fans. We’ve all seen Miley go from Disney idol to grinding on Robin Thicke at the VMAs, but few people know that there’s actually so much more to her! She’s been through quite a bit in her short life: she was born into a famous family, went through a crazy childhood, had some unexpected relationships, dealt with urgent health issues, and achieved a few amazing goals. Love her or hate her, there’s quite a bit about the queen of twerking and teddy bears that we bet you don’t know! Here are 15 surprising facts about the star who everybody loves to hate, Miley Cyrus.
15. Her Name Isn’t Miley
That’s right, your whole life is a lie! Miley Cyrus was actually born Destiny Hope Cyrus. Her real name was picked by her famous, country-singing father, Billy Ray Cyrus, who settled on the name because he believed it was his daughter’s destiny to bring hope into the world. Say what you want about Billy Ray, the man isn’t afraid to follow his heart! And the prophecy he saddled his daughter with kind of came true, depending on whether you’re a Miley fan or a Miley hater. She legally changed her name to Miley in 2008, as that’s what people would call her throughout her childhood. We guess Destiny Hope was too profound for the schoolyard! Apparently, Miley comes from the word “smiley”, which was the perfect description for the young girl who was destined to be a star. You have to admit that Miley does have a lot more commercial appeal!
14. She Was Kicked Out Of School
We can see now that Miley has a somewhat rebellious streak in her, but this is actually something she’s always had! When she was younger, she was kicked out of her evangelical private school. We’re willing to bet that Miley never quite fit in there anyways, so this was probably for the best! It isn’t clear what she did to warrant expulsion from the school, but some reports say that she stole a motorized scooter from one of her teachers. Yikes! Another report suggests that she really got kicked out because she told all the other kids what French kissing was. That kind of sounds like a Miley thing to do, since we know how she feels about wagging her tongue around the place! Another fact you probably didn’t know: Miley pulls her tongue out in so many pictures today because she feels uncomfortable with her smile and doesn’t want to feel awkward!
13. Her First Job Was Unusual
Considering she was born into a famous family, you probably could have guessed that her first job wouldn’t have been at McDonald’s. Basically, Billy Ray would bring Miley on tour with him and get her to help out with the show. By help out with the show, we mean it was her job to pick up the bras and underwear thrown on stage. We guess somebody had to do it, but this is surprising because firstly, people actually threw bras and undies at Billy Ray Cyrus? And secondly, wouldn’t you be weirded out beyond salvation if you had to witness random women throwing their undergarments at your dad? To be fair, our dads aren’t singing sensations, but we still can’t and won’t picture it. At least Miley was exposed to the stage at a young age. And the job earned her $10 per night, which is some serious pocket money for a little kid!
12. Her First Boyfriend Was A Model
Her school experience was interesting and her first job was bizarre, so you probably don’t expect Miley to have had a normal first dating experience either! While our first boyfriends were probably geeky teenagers from science class, Miley’s first boyfriend was a model named Justin Gaston, whom she dated for nine months. We feel like if your first ever dating experience is with a model, then your expectations and standards would be permanently raised. It was only natural for Miley to move on to actor Liam Hemsworth, whom she’s still involved with. The two met on the set of The Last Song, and have been off-again and on-again since. She told Parade magazine that her “first serious boyfriend” was Liam Hemsworth, so she might have only considered Justin to be a fling. But still, not a bad fling! That is a darn impressive little black book to have before you’ve even turned 25.
11. She’s Left-Handed
This is probably less exciting than the other things you didn’t know about Miley Cyrus, but since she hides it, we’re willing to bet it’s still news! Miley was actually born left-handed, but her father Billy Ray thought it would be better for everybody if she learned how to get through life using her right hand. So today, Miley appears to be right-handed and signs autographs with her right hand, but it’s all a lie. She’s said before that her autographs are hard to read because she’s been forced to use her non-dominant hand, so we’ll have to pay special attention if we ever stumble across her signature! The fact that she’s had to learn to use her other hand also suggests that Miley is pretty smart and capable and that she’s willing to go to some serious effort to do what needs to be done. We’re not sure why being right-handed is so important!
10. She Has 22 Tattoos
We all knew Miley likes the odd tattoo, but she has so many more than it seems! She currently has 22 visible tattoos although this will probably increase in the future. Her favorite tattoo artist is Kat Von D, who inked the newest addition on to her body—a portrait on her arm of her grandmother. Sweet! Miley’s tattoos vary, but some of the symbols she has on her skin include a heart, a cross, a peace sign, a sketch of Leonardo da Vinci’s work, and a few quotes. She has the words “love” and “just breathe”, as well as a quote from Teddy Roosevelt: “THAT HIS PLACE SHALL NEVER BE WITH THOSE COLD AND TIMID SOULS WHO NEITHER KNOW VICTORY NOR DEFEAT.” She’s also a fan of numbers, and has the date her parents met, 7/91 inked in Roman numerals, which read VIIXCI. We can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!
9. She Is One Of The Most Searched Artists
It’s pretty clear that Miley shocked the world back in 2013 when she performed with Robin Thicke at the VMAs, but the extent of her popularity when it comes to Google searches is probably hugely understated! She holds the record for most views of a music video in the first 24 hours after its release on Vevo, which she earned for the ‘Wrecking Ball’ video. This was also the fastest video to reach 100 million views on Vevo, which is saying something! Her Google stats are also pretty impressive, and with more than 1 billion hits, Miley is more searched than Kim Kardashian, Barack Obama, and even God. Some of that might be down to the shock-value element, but you can’t deny that ‘Wrecking Ball’ is one hell of a song. Even if people are searching Miley out of curiosity, we’re pretty sure most of them will like what they hear!
8. She Has Never Taken Formal Singing Lessons
Believe it or not, Miley has never been formally taught how to sing! She might be well-known for her outrageous antics and sticking her tongue out, but if you give her music a chance, you’ll see that Miley actually has a pretty good voice! Especially when she’s singing country-inspired tunes, she totally gets into the soul of the song and gives a great performance. She might not be able to run like Aretha Franklin, but she can hit some pretty high notes, and more importantly, her tone is seriously unique and soothing. Kelly Clarkson called Miley’s 2013 VMA performance “pitchy”, and parts of it were, but at least we know she gets up there and sings live! She definitely bares it all. That’s a pretty courageous thing to do when you haven’t had any formal singing lessons before, and since she’s been doing that since she was a youngster, props go to her!
7. Her Godmother Is Dolly Parton
When your dad is a star, you’re bound to have a few cool contacts from day one. Miley’s godmother happens to be none other than Dolly Parton, the most honored female country singer of all time. Not only is Miley’s godmother a superstar and icon, but from what we can see, the two actually have a pretty strong relationship. Over the years, Miley has received quite a bit of media backlash in response to her boundary-pushing performances, but Dolly has been there to step in and defend her goddaughter. She’s defended her singing chops as well as her sense of style and has also been there to weigh in on Miley’s relationship with Liam Hemsworth. She probably gives the best advice too—Dolly is the fairy godmother we all wanted! Miley is constantly honoring Dolly and has performed her own rendition of Dolly’s hit “Jolene”, which the two have even sung together.
6. She Didn’t Originally Audition To Be Hannah Montana
Miley Cyrus first rose to fame when she landed the role of Hannah Montana on the television show of the same name, but it could have all been pretty different, especially when you consider the fact that she didn’t originally audition for the role of Hannah! Miley originally auditioned for the best-friend supporting role of Lilly Truscott, but the producers could see that she was much better suited to being a star than a sidekick. Miley told Rolling Stone that her dad didn’t want her to audition for the show at all, and if she had followed his advice, things would be completely different! After spending a significant period of time in show business, Billy Ray wanted to protect his daughter from the harsh rejection that will inevitably come with this kind of work. “He didn’t want me to be hurt by the industry,” she said. We’re glad she didn’t listen!
5. She’s More Controversial Than You Think
Miley’s done one outrageous thing after the other since she fully shed her Disney image a few years ago, but there were signs that the singer had a rebellious streak earlier in her career too. Her first jaw-dropping moment wasn’t actually at the 2013 VMAs like everybody thinks, but was actually all the way back in 2008. Miley was only 15 at the time, but Vanity Fair published a photo of her totally naked and wrapped in a bed sheet. No body parts were shown, but it was still a huge shock considering she was a Disney star, and only 15! The media certainly had a lot to say about Miley’s new image. She also made headlines the following year when she performed at the 2009 Teen Choice Awards and did a little bit of pole dancing on stage. She did this on top of an ice-cream truck, but that does not make it child-friendly!
4. She Rented Out Disneyland For Her Sweet Sixteen
What did you do for your Sweet 16th? We bet it was exciting but was it “having Disneyland all to yourself” exciting? Probably not! Miley was on top of the world as one of the biggest teen idols at the time, and pretty much had the freedom to do whatever she wanted, so her 16th was always going to be epic. And although she had the freedom, in theory, she probably didn’t have the freedom to party the way she wanted without hordes of paparazzi and mobbing fans getting in her way, so we can kind of see why she needed to book out a private space. Everybody deserves privacy, and if you don’t get it on any other day, you may as well have it on your Sweet 16th! Having said that, it probably sucked for families who had traveled to Anaheim specifically to go to Disneyland and then were robbed of some time there.
3. She Has A Heart Condition
From the way Miley jet-sets around the world, lives it up on stage, and gives off chilled-AF vibes, you’d never guess that she has some health issues! Miley actually has a heart condition known as tachycardia, which means that her heart rate exceeds the normal resting rate. While some sufferers of tachycardia can be unstable and prone to cardiac arrest, Miley’s is thankfully a little less serious. “The type of tachycardia I have isn’t dangerous. It won’t hurt me, but it does bother me,” she wrote in her autobiography. “There is never a time onstage when I’m not thinking about my heart.” In the past, Miley has been hospitalized for her condition and has also had a severe allergic reaction to antibiotics, which could have turned incredibly serious. It is inspiring that although she is dealing with uncontrollable issues, she doesn’t let them stop her from living her life, twerking, slides and all!
2. She Has Her Own Charity
Miley was certainly born into a very privileged position and has received a lot of blessings throughout her life, so it’s nice to hear that she gives back when she can. In addition to constantly speaking out against injustices, Miley launched The Happy Hippie Foundation in 2014. The charity aims to help a range of people in need of support, including homeless people, LGBT youth, and other disadvantaged and vulnerable communities. As part of the charity, Miley teamed up with Facebook to launch the “Backyard Sessions” which feature her and other artists singing in an intimate setting which people can view online before donating money to the charity. “All humans have valid feelings and rights! I want to use my voice as a megaphone to young people everywhere and encourage human evolution,” she said of her work. Miley also helped a fellow Los Angeles support organization raise $200,000 for homeless youth. Way to go, Miley!
1. She Might Go To College One Day
We found this one to be the most surprising of all! Miley certainly strikes us as a down-to-earth and carefree gal, but we thought she was still all about that superstar life. It turns out she still might go to college one day! Miley was tutored at home while she was working on Hannah Montana, and never got the chance to go to college, but that doesn’t mean she’s completely written that part of her life off. When she was still a teenager, she stated in an interview that she had no plans to go to college in the near future, understandably because her career was going to take off, but she later said that she would like to attend school the way Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen did. “I thought I might go to NYU or something and study photography.” There are no solid plans in place, but it could happen! We’re excited to see what is next for the star.