Is Hannah Montana dead? This week on Instagram Miley Cyrus wrote regarding the 10th anniversary of the show that made her an international star: Even though HM is chopped up into little tiny pieces and buried in my backyard she will always hold a very special place in my heart! Celebrate this day with us! Get real drunk and remember #HM4EVR 👸🏼 send pics gettinnnnn buck wild in honor of this special day! ❤️❤️❤️
Hannah may be scattered, but Miley seems to be focused in a new direction– a struggle back to PG-13 from R rated behavior. She’s made a 180 degree turn from last summer, when she scared her tween fans by declaring she was “pansexual” and started using the F word as a verb, adjective, adverb and noun whenever she got the chance. Over this past weekend, she went to an NBA basketball game with her mother and sister, dressed in a sports jersey. Her hair was conventionally arranged, her make up was girl next door. Her tongue was mostly in place. There was no Twerking. She flashed an engagement ring from her ex-fiance and maybe current one, squeaky clean actor Chris Hemsworth. On Monday she appears as a mentor on “The Voice” and next September she will be a judge. She’s also starring in Woody Allen’s new unnamed TV series for Netflix.
What a change. Or changes. Is Hannah Montana back? Or have the two sides of Miley been integrated into one new person?
Miley’s journey from Hannah Montana Disney good girl to the baddest girl ever began with her infamous appearance on the American Music Awards with Robin Thicke. From then on, all bets were off. She appeared topless in a series of portraits by cutting edge photographer Terry Richardson, sending the internet into a frenzy. With her tongue wagging, and her top showing, Miley was Betty Booping herself out of her fan base. Whether she meant it ironically or not, she was scaring the kids.
Last summer, just throw fat on the fire. Miley announced she was “was dating women, and not hiding it. She went on a social media offensive for LGBT and trans fans. The “f” word wasn’t just peppered– it was key to her postings on Twitter. On September 1st Miley dropped a surprise free album for streaming called “Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz.” It was a collaboration not with other American sweethearts like Carrie Underwood or Kelly Clarkson, but with cult faves Wayne Coyne and the Flaming Lips.
(Just a note on the Dead Petz album here: It’s excellent. Sophisticated, edgy, musically a huge leap. But the titles and the lyrics weren’t for 12 year old girls. Titles like “Bang Me Box” and “F—–‘ F—ed Up” say it all.)
Miley, who’d cleverly turned her image from Disney girl Hannah Montana to a young Madonna on a wrecking ball, was on the verge of careening out of control.
Last November, she went off on a short tour of the Dead Petz music in clubs. Miley Cyrus, who should have been at Radio City Music Hall, was at semi seedy Terminal 5. Huh? That certainly wasn’t where she should have been.
A constant Tweeter and Instagrammer, Miley was everywhere. For the holidays she released a beautiful lament from the Dead Petz album called “My Sad Christmas Song” along with a Tweet: Merryf—ingChristmas.”
The lyrics were not all chestnuts roasting. They included this verse:
This is my sad Christmas song
So I rip another bong
I never been good at making plans
Next year, I’m gonna be with my man
My little sister says I’m the Grinch
But my mom thinks I’m just a bitch
At Christmas, Miley didn’t seem like she was going back to selling girl scout cookies. As recently as February 3rd, she Tweeted the announcement of joining The Voice as a mentor. The photo was typical post- Hannah Miley now: pink tongue licking a trademark red Voice game button:
— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) February 3, 2016
That may been the tipping point. Since then, there’s been a seachange. There were no more Tweets (save for one f-laden one about wolf culling in British Columbia) from February 3rd until March 25th announcing her upcoming judge-ship next fall on The Voice. Most of her Instagram posts this winter have been pretty tame, or evidence of a struggle between Hannah and Miley. Who will win? Is Miley Cyrus being tamed to keep her audience and establish career longevity? I’ll be sad if her wild days are over. At 23, it’s a little young to thrown in the towel. I was hoping she’d be outrageous a little while longer.