Miley Cyrus, normal teenage star

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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

December
.

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

nice:

"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

trouble."

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.

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