1. Her Real Name Isn’t Miley
Billy Ray and Tish Cyrus welcomed a baby girl on November 23, 1992 and named her Destiny Hope Cyrus, thinking she’d accomplish great things with a name like that. While their daughter did go on to become rich and famous, she did so under her longtime nickname, “Miley.” People called her “Smiley” because she was such a happy baby and over time the nickname got shortened to “Miley.” The star legally changed her name in 2008. Today, only her grandma still calls her “Destiny.”
2. She Almost Didn’t Get the ‘Hannah Montana’ Role
Cyrus was 11 when she sent in an audition tape for Hannah Montana. However, she was first told she was “too young and too small” for the role. Producers later had a change of heart and even switched the character’s name from “Chloe” to “Miley” just for her.
3. She’s Richer Than Her Dad
We’ll forever be indebted to Billy Ray Cyrus for revolutionizing country love songs, but it’s his little girl who’s raking in the cold hard cash. In 2008, the young star’s franchise was reportedly worth over $1 billion. She was named the richest teen in Hollywood in 2011, and reportedly raked in $54 million that year. During her Hannah Montana years, she was the sixth highest paid child star on TV.
4. She Has a Heart Condition
Don’t panic. Cyrus does suffer from a mild heart condition, but it’s more annoying than dangerous. The actress has a condition called tachycardia, which means her resting heart rate exceeds the normal range. Cyrus shared the info in her autobiography, Miles to Go. “It won’t hurt me, but it does bother me,” she wrote. “There is never a time onstage when I’m not thinking about my heart.”
5. She Has Five Siblings
The Cyrus household must be crazy during the holidays. See, her mom Tish had two kids from a previous relationship, Trace and Brandi, while Billy Ray had a son, Christopher Cody, from another relationship. Tish and Billy Ray then got hitched in 1993, a year after having Miley. Then they had two more kids. Almost all the Cyrus siblings have given showbiz a shot.
6. She Has Bad Handwriting
If you can’t read Miley Cyrus’ penmanship, take it up with her pops. She claims she’s naturally left-handed, but her dad forced her to write with her right hand so she didn’t have to “learn the world backwards.” Now, her penmanship is lacking. She wrote in her typed memoir: “In the rest of my life I’m left-handed, but I do write with my right hand. So if you don’t like my handwriting—talk to my dad.”
7. She Has a Famous Godmother
In addition to having the “Achy Breaky Heart” singer as a dad, Miley has the legendary Dolly Parton as a godmother. The country star is also one of the young singer’s biggest fans. “She’s like a little Elvis,” Parton said in a 2008 interview. “The kids love her because she’s Hannah Montana, but what people don’t realize about her is she is such a fantastic singer and songwriter. She writes songs like she’s 40 years old! She’s really deep.”
8. She Lived in Canada for Three Years
Before moving to Hollywood to pursue her acting dreams in 2005, Miley and family lived in Toronto while Billy Ray starred in the TV series Doc. Young Miley even got her first acting credit alongside her dear old dad. She starred in three episodes of the show in 2001, then landed a small role in Tim Burton’s Big Fish in 2003 before scoring big with Hannah Montana.
9. She Used to Have a YouTube Show
In 2008, Miley and her dancer pal Mandy Jiroux started up their own YouTube program. The Miley and Mandy Show featured the gals mostly hanging out in Cyrus’ bedroom, goofing around with guitars, silly dance moves, and their computers. The friends reportedly created and edited all the footage themselves. They made 30 or so videos before retiring the show.
10. She Has Over 10 Tattoos
Miley Cyrus has about 14 tattoos, by our best estimates. She got her first around December 2009 at the age of 17, “Just Breathe” on her ribcage, and has since added over a dozen more. Her other ink includes an anchor on her wrist, a dream catcher on her side, three tattoos on her fingers, one on her ankle, “Love Never Dies” on the insider of her arm, and more.
11. She’s Adopted Five Dogs
This gal is a serious animal lover. Cyrus already had three dogs when she decided to adopt two more in May 2012. Her latest additions: a Rottweiler-beagle mix named Happy and a black and white pup named Mary Jane. She and Liam Hemsworth are certainly getting some parenting training from their big furry family.
12. She Paid $10 to See if Liam Liked Her
Cyrus said she immediately developed a crush on her Last Song co-star Liam Hemsworth back in 2010, but their interactions were “awkward” at first. So, she paid a young co-star $10 to find out if the Aussie actor liked her back. “I sent him back and forth. It was really funny,” she said of her deal with Bobby Coleman, who was about 12 at the time. Of course, the feelings were mutual.
13. She Likes ‘Spongebob Squarepants’
You can never be too old to like cartoons, and the future Mrs. Hemsworth happens to like Nickelodeon’s Spongebob Squarepants. In fact, she watched a marathon in early June, just days after getting engaged.
14. She Dated a Model
Justin Gaston guest starred on Hannah Montana (as a guitar player) on a 2008 episode and the pair proceeded to date for nine months. In fact, Cyrus broke up with the model/actor just days before flying to Georgia to film The Last Song. The breakup was pretty dramatic, and the evidence is on Twitter.
15. A Jonas Brother Broke Her Heart
Miley Cyrus had plenty of ups and downs with her first boyfriend, Nick Jonas. In fact, there was a dramatic love triangle going between Cyrus, Jonas, and Selena Gomez back in 2008! Eventually everyone went their separate ways, but Jonas did a number on Miley’s heart. “I had my biggest heartbreak when I was 14,” she said in 2009. “I was in love with somebody. I was in love with this person, I thought … the rest of my life is ruined because he doesn’t love me back.”
16. She’s Met the Queen
Back in 2009, Miley Cyrus had the honor of meeting Queen Elizabeth at members of the royal family at the Royal Variety Performance in England. However, she seemed to be more excited about meeting Lady Gaga at the soiree. In case you’re curious: Miley did, in fact, sing “Party in the USA” at the London event.
17. She’s a Diva
The starlet had the chance to perform alongside some of her idols at the 2009 VH1 Divas event. Cyrus is one of the youngest stars to ever been given the diva treatment. One of the highlights from the show: She teamed up with Sheryl Crow to sing “If It Makes You Happy.”
18. She’s BFFs with Kelly Osbourne
What do Kelly Osbourne and Miley Cyrus have in common? Well, they both have musician dads (though their styles of music are very different). They met while filming So Undercover and have been besties since. Osbourne famously stood up for her friend through the Bob Marley cake scandal of 2011.
19. She’s Putting College on Hold
Miley Cyrus had a private tutor during her Hannah Montana days, but following the show’s run she decided not to further her education. She said in an interview at the time: “I’m a firm believer that you can go back at any age you want, because my Grandma went back to college at 62.” Perhaps she’ll get married then go back to school!
20. She’s a Pilates Fan
How does Cyrus keep her body bikini-ready all year long? Pilates! (And probably a host of other workouts, too.) The star regularly attends the classes in West Hollywood, and can be usually seen exiting the venue with a big smile and some taut tummy showing.
21. She’s Good at Playing Herself
Miley Cyrus made a cameo in Justin Bieber: Never Say Never in 2011. She also made a cameo in Sex and the City 2 the year before. Cyrus was only in one scene with the SATC ladies, but she and Cynthia Nixon did get to wear matching outfits.