The character "Hannah Montana" from Disney's Hannah Montana series is practically a household name. It has a cult following, not just of the series but also of the movie, the music and concerts. It is thus, equally important to familiarize yourself with the actor who portrays Hannah Montana and that is none other than Miley Cyrus.
Miley Cyrus was actually born Destiny Hope Cyrus and who also happens to be the daughter of Leticia and Billy Ray Cyrus. If you think you've heard of Billy Ray, well, he just popularized the hit song "Achy Brakey Heart" that came out in 1992. Miley also has 5 other siblings: Trace and Brandi are from her mother's previous relationship (they were later on adopted by Billy Ray); Christopher Cody is from his father's previous relationship and finally her younger siblings, Braison and Noah. In 2008, she legally changed her name to Miley Ray Cyrus in honor of her father and for Miley, her nickname when she was a child. It started out that she was called "Smiley" because according to her family, she used to smile a lot, but over time, it just got shortened to "Miley" which is funny because it's also the name of her character in Hannah Montana.
Her interest in performing may have been inherent and was better encouraged and influenced when she went to the Armstrong Acting Studio when she was nine years old and living in Toronto, Canada with her family. She then journeyed on to having a small part in her father's TV Series "Doc" and she played the character of Young Ruthie in Tim Burton's Big Fish in 2003. At 12, she wound up auditioning for the much coveted role of Miley Stewart/Hannah Montana in Disney's new TV series. However, she got turned down. This setback didn't deter her however and she was more persistent than ever until Disney executives finally called her back for more auditions (even for the "best friend" roles) and then finally she landed the top role and her success blossomed from thereon.
In the TV series, Miley played a dual role. She was both a normal teenager (Miley Stewart) and a famous pop music icon (Hannah Montana). It was thus, less surprising that the show would lead to a number of concerts and musical performances with Hannah Montana performing. In these events, who else is expected to play the part but Miley herself? First, Disney released a Hannah Montana soundtrack which was practically eaten up as soon as it hit the shelves. A year later, Disney released a second 2-disc album called Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus. The first disc included the 2nd Hannah Montana soundtrack while the 2nd disc served as the launching pad for Miley Cyrus' first debut album as herself. The album reached Triple Platinum status with "See You Again" reaching as high as Top 10 in Billboard's Hot 100.
Eventually, she went on concerts and road tours, released her own album where she also co-wrote songs and starred in the Disney spin-off movie for Hannah Montana. She was also part of the animated "Bolt" movie where she voice acted as "Penny". She also helped design some clothing pieces from Disney's Hannah Montana collection. Her autobiographical book (which was co-written with Hilary Liftin) was released last March 2009.