It has been pointed out that Miley Cyrus actually confessed to murder when she hosted Saturday Night Live. And not just any murder either, she confessed during her opening monologue for the show. The singer said of her former persona, “She was murdered.”
It may be a bit of a stretch to say that the 20 year-old performer was actually confessing to the murder of her squeaky clean Disney character, but not too much. The actress/singer has been single mindedly destroying any vestiges of Montana that could have remained after the show finished in January 2011.
That she had come to hate the character that had propelled her into stardom was evident in interviews given at the time. At one, she actually spoke of burning the Hannah Montana wig because she couldn’t bear the thought of putting it on again.
Once her contractual obligations with Disney were through, she took a little time to focus on her acting and then she focussed on changing her singing career and her image. Though she stayed fairly pop oriented with her first singles, it was We Can’t Stop that signaled her departure from anything that could be remotely seen as Disneyesque.
It is her latest album, Bangerz, that has sped up the change in her musical focus as well as her image change. In between the release of her We Can’t Stop music video and the upload to Vimeo of Wrecking Ball, Miley gave her history making performance on the MTV Video Music Awards. Her twerking controversial number drove parents to their phones and Twitter to complain that Hannah Montana was out of control.
But Miley Cyrus was murdering Hannah Montana, she even confessed to it. Even before the SNL hosting event, she had been telling everyone that she was through with the sickly sweet Disney invention that shot her to stardom. Cyrus was ready to grow up, damn it! She was tired of mother’s who wrote into the the show to complain that Hannah suddenly had boobs.
While Miley has been determinedly smashing the Montana out of her system, which to be fair was never a part of Cyrus the actor, she has been revelling in her “newfound” sexuality. Wearing little clothing as possible at photoshoots; being provocative; getting engaged and then breaking said engagement and keeping the ring were all a part of it. She also starting showing a lot of skin.
Her near nudity, to be fair she was not completely nude she was wearing tennis shoes and a huge wrecking ball, in the music video for Wrecking Ball shot her into the number one slot on Billboard with a testosterone and hormone fueled bullet. Cyrus showed the world via her music videos that she was game for sex with anyone and her fans responded accordingly.
As was aptly put by Forbes.com, Miley’s older fans – who were all too enamoured of the pristine Hannah Montana to make the switch – were outraged at her new image. These same fans have stated that their children would not be allowed to follow the singer’s tweets, music, or anything else that she did. Which, as Forbes.com put it, was precisely the point.
Miley has the unenviable position of having to grow up in the public eye. Like Canadian popstar Justin Bieber, who is only a year behind Miley in the age department, every single thing that either of them do is blown completely out of proportion. Bieber speeds, like a lot of teenage boys do, and it gets made to seem like he deliberately tried to mow down his neighbors kids.
Cyrus gives a live performance that is calculated to shock and be memorable and she is vilified and if a lot of parents had their way, would be tarred and feathered. Like any pop singer, the former Disney girl is making a transition in her career. It is a normal process gone through if an entertainer wants to have any sort of longevity in their chosen profession.
Granted, the young performer does come across as quite shallow, brash, and uncaring. Looking at the tweets she sent to Sinead O’Connor after a well-meaning, and somewhat misguided, open letter that the Irish performer sent to Miley via her Facebook page shows just how little empathy the younger singer has.
But, again, she is in the stages of growing up. And to paraphrase Neil Sedaka very badly, it is hard to do. All the more so if you live in the spotlight. Miley Cyrus can jokingly confess to murdering Hannah Montana but seriously? It was the only way that the girl would be allowed to let go of her Disney beginnings and move on. So yes, Hannah Montana is dead, killed by her alter ego. Long live Miley Cyrus, may she continue to grow and transition as a performer.
By Michael Smith