ShareThis Page
‘Bangerz’ tour a long way from ‘Hannah Montana’ for Miley Cyrus |

‘Bangerz’ tour a long way from ‘Hannah Montana’ for Miley Cyrus

Rob Biertempfel
| Wednesday, July 30, 2014 9:01 p.m
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Miley Cyrus performs at the Barclays Center in New York.

When pop princess Miley Cyrus brings her controversial “Bangerz” tour to Consol Energy Center on Aug. 4, concertgoers will see a very different performer than the “Hannah Montana” show in 2008 at Mellon Arena.

At that last concert, Cyrus, now 21, still donned her squeaky-clean image from the Disney show that ran from 2006 to 2011 and performed mostly for tween-age girls, who filled the arena with high-pitched, piercing screams as they watched their idol on stage.

Now, after a few years of dramatic persona change — as Cyrus walks the often-rocky road from child to adult stardom — the singer is bringing to Pittsburgh the tour many parents are pushing to shut down.

According to MusicFix, Cyrus’ management has been inundated with complaints about the performance, which they say is too racy for young audiences. Some of Cyrus’ concert antics, according to published reports, have included straddling a flying hot dog, stuffing a thong in her mouth and simulating sex acts. Critics have called the live show loud and lewd, but laudable, fun, campy and surreal.

Love her or hate her, then or now, Cyrus’ colorful life and career still attracts and retains millions of fans around the world.

Early fame

Cyrus was just 14 when she debuted on Disney’s “Hannah Montana.”

As the daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus (of “Achy Breaky Heart” fame), she was familiar with fame. But little could have prepared her for the adulation of her young fans.

On the show, she starred as a teen pop star who used a disguise onstage so she could have a normal teenage life off the stage. Her dad co-starred as her father.

The show was four times nominated for an Emmy for outstanding children’s programming. Cyrus sang on the show, including some of her own songs. She released five soundtrack albums under the name “Hannah Montana,” all of which went to No. 1 on the U.S. charts. The show spawned a theatrical release, “Hannah Montana: The Movie,” and a 3D tour film, “Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert,” both of which achieved overwhelming commercial success.

Cyrus started recording under her own name in 2007 with “Meet Miley Cyrus,” but it was 2010’s “Can’t Be Tamed” that started to show a more grown-up and risque style.

She has reportedly told her godmother Dolly Parton that she needed “to murder Hannah Montana” to get on with her career, and Cyrus told the “Saturday Night Live” audience last year that Montana had been “murdered.”

Hot album

Cyrus’ latest album “Bangerz,” which includes the hit singles “Wrecking Ball” and “We Can’t Stop,” has done very well, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart.

“Wrecking Ball” became Cyrus’ first Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 and her fastest-rising Top 10 hit. U.S. Weekly called “Bangerz” “the year’s most titillating pop explosion” when the album came out in October 2013.

Several shows on the U.S. leg of the “Bangerz” tour were postponed this spring after Cyrus reportedly had a bad reaction to an antibiotic used to treat a sinus infection. She resumed the show in May in Europe. The Pittsburgh show was added when the original dates were rescheduled for August.

Twerking and tongues

Cyrus’ high-profile evolution from strait-laced, long-haired Hannah Montana to short-haired seductress largely began six years ago in a controversial cover photo for Vanity Fair, where she was wearing only a loosely draped sheet.

If we weren’t already convinced her teeny-bopper image was dead, she made it painfully clear at last year’s MTV Video Music Awards. Her appearance started with her cavorting and twerking with dancing bears as she sang “We Can’t Stop,” and then grinding against Robin Thicke and a foam finger as he sang “Blurred Lines,” all this with her tongue hanging lasciviously from her mouth.

She followed that up with the video for “Wrecking Ball,” which featured her naked on a wrecking ball and licking a sledgehammer with that infamous tongue. The video had a record 19.3 million views in 24 hours.

Cyrus also hasn’t been shy about her expressing her love of marijuana. Last year, she told Rolling Stone magazine, “I think weed is the best drug on Earth. One time, I smoked a joint with peyote in it, and I saw a wolf howling at the moon. Hollywood is a coke town, but weed is so much better. And molly, too. Those are happy drugs — social drugs.”

Love life

Cyrus was famously engaged to actor Liam Hemsworth (“The Hunger Games”) until last fall. The two had been together for almost four years after meeting on the set of the 2010 movie “The Last Song.”

Many have rumored that the song “Wrecking Ball” is directed at Hemsworth, and Cyrus went on an expletive-laden rant that was seemingly directed at her ex during an early stop on the “Bangerz” tour. But Cyrus has denied Hemsworth was the target of her ire.

Early in her Disney career, she also was linked to Nick Jonas.

Categories: Music
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.