Since its debut in 2006, Disney’s mega-hit show Hannah Montana has been a contender in the
TV, music and movie industries, and its young star, 14-year-old Miley Cyrus, is being hyped as an Annette Funicello.
If you don’t know the show, here’s a primer. "Hannah Montana" is the stage name and secret
identity of Miley Stewart, who is a normal girl by day, a pop singing sensation
by night. Miley Stewart is played by Miley
Cyrus (yep, daughter of Billy
Ray). The episodes mix teenage life
lesson with rock concert.
This month saw the release of Hannah Montana 2: Meet
Miley Cyrus and the start of a Miley Cyrus singing career. The album features one disc with Cyrus performing
as Miley playing Hannah’s music from the show, and one disc with Cyrus singing
as herself. This means she’s introduced
by her fictional self twice removed, which seems totally appropriate to the
reality TV era. (It’s like American Idol, if the network could
pre-select the contestants it wants to package.
But I repeat myself.)
Cyrus is actually racking up more sales than most Idol participants. Her
second album topped the Billboard 200 for its release week, outselling Kelly Clarkson‘s My
Despite her fame and apparent talent, Miley seems normal in
such a refreshingly sweet way that I hope daddy Cyrus is guarding against the typical
child-star fate. Here
Miley shows she knows how to play
"These little kids come up and
invite me to their birthday parties. I keep thinking,
‘You know, I should go to some of them.’"
And here she is not being full of her famous self:
"It was weird the first time it
happened. It was the day after the show came out and my
best friend and I went to Universal and we heard these girls scream, ‘Is it
her?’ We’re looking around for Britney or Lindsay or someone famous and they’re
like, ‘Are you Miley?’ And I said, ‘Miley? Yeah, why?’ I thought I was in
Some publicity photos try to sex her up in that creepy child-star way, but most photos just show her giant, happy smile.
Child-stars and children of fame don’t have the best track record for happy
lives, and being both could be a double whammy. My hope: Miley grows up more daring
than Annette in her one-piece suits, but avoids the tabloid home of so many of the 1990s Mickey Mouse Club alums.