How “Destiny Hope” Became “Miley”
On November 23, 1992, country superstar Billy Ray Cyrus and his future wife Tish welcomed their first child together. They had high hopes for their bouncing baby girl, which is why they decided to name her Destiny Hope Cyrus.
Before long, Billy Ray took to calling his little girl “Smiley” because she was constantly smiling. Somewhere along the way, “Smiley” got shortened to “Miley” and the name stuck. So much in fact, that the girl who was named Destiny Hope at birth legally changed her name to Miley Ray when she was only 15 years old.
Although Miley changed her name, she still went on to achieve the success her parents always felt she was destined for. As a young girl, she was cast in the lead role for a Disney Channel show called Hannah Montana, and her life was forever changed. The role shot her to instant stardom as an actress and singer, making Miley one of the most successful child stars in history.
As an adult, Miley has distanced herself from her Hannah Montana image, and has worked tirelessly to develop her own musical style. That work has resulted in chart hits such as “Wrecking Ball” and “Can’t Be Tamed.” At the age of 24, she was the youngest coach to ever appear on The Voice, and offered her wisdom to up-and-coming artists.
Often the focus of media attention, it seems that everything about Miley is out there for the world to know. But there are a few lesser-known facts about Miley that we’re sure you’ve never heard before.
1. She Was Born With A Heart Condition
In her autobiography Miles to Go, Miley opened up about the fact that she was born with a heart condition. Called Supraventricular Tachycardia, the condition is caused as a result of “problems with the electrical connection between the atria and the ventricles,” according to The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Fortunately, the condition isn’t serious, and Miley has been able to live a normal life. Miley wrote in her autobiography that although the condition isn’t painful, she still worries about it. “There is never a time onstage when I’m not thinking about my heart,” she said.
2. She Had Her First Interview When She Was Two
Having a famous father, Miley was in the spotlight from a young age. But did you have any idea that she had her first on-camera interview when she was only two years old?
Well, the interview was actually intended for Billy Ray, but Miley ended up crashing it and became the star of the show. In an adorable moment, Miley came waddling in with her little stroller and her most prized possession…her Willie Nelson doll!
Billy Ray explained that he had intended to give the Willie doll to his mother as a gift. But Miley fell in love with him and took him everywhere with her! How cute is that?
3. She Was (Allegedly) Kicked Out Of School
It isn’t uncommon for young kids to get a detention or even be suspended after acting up at school. But according to Miley, she was actually kicked out of school after she did one of two things.
Allegedly, Miley got in big trouble after she either stole her teacher’s motorized scooter or told her classmates what French kissing was. Those are some strikingly different reasons for being kicked out of school!
4. Her First Job Was One You Would Probably Never Want
Most kids’ first jobs include babysitting or raking leaves for neighbors. But Miley’s first job was an unusual one that no one else would likely ever want.
Since Billy Ray was on tour all the time, young Miley often tagged along. Since she needed something to do, she was placed in charge of picking up all of the things fans threw on stage at her dad.
Although Miley surely had to gather up her fair share of flowers, teddy bears, and other trinkets, she also had to pick up any bras and/or panties that women threw at Billy Ray. And people say it’s easy being a celebrity’s kid!
5. She Blames Her Dad For Her Bad Handwriting
If you ever get the chance to get Miley’s autograph, she’ll likely apologize to you for her terrible handwriting. It’s also likely that she’ll blame it on her dad, as she has several times in the past.
You see, Miley was born left-handed, but Billy Ray convinced her to switch to right hand dominance. In the introduction to her autobiography, Miley wrote that even though Billy Ray is left-handed as well, he’s “absolutely convinced” she should be right-handed. As a result, he taught her to use her right hand to write because he didn’t want her to “learn the word backwards.”
Miley revealed that she uses her left hand for everything else, but to this day she only writes with her right hand.
6. A Popular Musical Inspired Her To Become An Actress
Musicals combine the arts of acting and music in one, and the result is often spectacular. Such was the case with the Tony-nominated musical Mama Mia!, which remains popular due in large part to the 2008 film adaptation.
One big fan of Mama Mia! was a young Miley, who cites the musical as her inspiration to pursue an acting career. As Billy Ray recalled to The Star during an interview in 2009, after he took Miley to a production of Mama Mia! in 2001 she turned to him and said “This is what I want to do, daddy. I want to be an actress.”
7. She Almost Wasn’t Hannah Montana
We all know that Miley’s breakout role was in the Disney Channel series Hannah Montana, in which she starred as the title character. But did you have any idea that the role almost wasn’t hers?
A number of factors combined that almost prevented Miley from snagging the role that launched her to superstardom. As Miley wrote in her autobiography, she had never intended to go after the lead role in the first place. Instead, she auditioned for Hannah’s best friend, but the people behind the show wanted her to audition for Hannah instead.
However, when Miley did audition, she was turned down because those in charge of casting felt that she was “too young and small” for the role. As Miley later told E! during a special about her, the show was finally convinced to cast her because of her talents as a singer and actress. The rest is history!
8. Another Voice Coach Is One Of Her Biggest Role Models
Although Miley and Pharrell Williams have never coached on The Voice together, the two still have a strong working relationship. That’s because Pharrell teamed up with Miley to help her craft the new sound she wanted for her fourth studio album, Bangerz.
Miley has made it clear how fond she is of Pharrell, telling People, “I’ve never been more thankful for someone in my life.” Her admiration for her fellow Voice coach is so high, that she’s said she, “want[s] to be like” him.
9. She Has A Bunch Of Unusual Pets
Most people know that Miley is a huge animal lover. She has a whole pack of pets that’s she’s rescued over the years, including her current brood of seven dogs.
In addition to her canine companions, Miley also owns a handful of cats. But some of her other pets are much less common!
During a special online-only segment for The Voice, Miley revealed that she is the proud owner of a pair of pigs. Named Pig Pig and Puddles, Miley says her two pet pigs are just like her because they’ll do absolutely anything for food.
But Miley’s pigs aren’t her only unusual pets! She also owns two mini horses named Pumpkin and Dumplin, but she said they sometimes get called Jerry and Freddy. Now we bet you didn’t know that!
Which of these nine facts about Miley surprised you the most? Let us know!