Miley Cyrus just won’t, or can’t, stop. These days she’s somehow found time – in between all the twerking – to pop up on the 11th season of The Voice. And while she’s recently come under fire for her coaching capabilities, as a previous judge on the show she probably wouldn’t take offence to being judged in turn. In fact, it’s hard to imagine Cyrus taking offence to anything at all. Let’s look at the 20 wildest things the ex-child star has done so far.
20. Her pole dance at the Teen Choice Awards
What’s a child star to do when she wants to present a more mature image to the world? Well, in 2009 Miley Cyrus went to the Teen Choice Awards and provocatively danced around a pole. And not surprisingly, the Disney Channel declined to comment on the matter.
19. Her (first) accusation of racism
In this snapshot, 16-year-old Cyrus can be seen posing alongside some friends and pulling what she claimed was “a goofy face.” Unfortunately, to everyone else it looked more like she was mocking Asian people, and no-one was pleased. But Cyrus defended herself nonetheless, claiming that the media were deliberately attempting to paint her as the “bad girl.” Little did the world know, though, that there was worse to come.
18. Her Terry Richardson photoshoot
In 2013, Miley Cyrus teamed up with the somewhat sleazy photographer Terry Richardson for a somewhat sleazy photoshoot. It featured Cyrus holding cans of iced tea in provocative places while wearing virtually nothing. The art world went “meh”; everyone else went “ew.”
17. Her wacky Do It dress
Okay, so most of Cyrus’ outfits are weird, but her pink “Do It” dress really takes the cake. The pop star posed in the 2015 VMA press room wearing this magnificently wacky creation, complete with pig snout head gear. But hey, at least it was SFW, unlike some of the other costume choices to come…
16. When she kissed a girl
Nowadays, Cyrus locking lips with a woman on stage would barely make Twitter. But in 2007, when Cyrus uploaded this picture to Myspace of her almost kissing a female friend, her fans were shocked. Although she’s since come out as bisexual, of course…
15. Her strange tweet to Billy Ray
In June 2013 Cyrus posted a totally bizarre message to her father on Twitter: “Since you won’t reply to my texts I’m giving you an hour to tell the truth or I’ll tell it for you.” She accompanied that with a shot of a woman other than her mom. Was it a hack? A hint at an affair? Who knows, but it sure got people talking.
14. Going bare for Fair
In 2008, back when Cyrus was still the Disney Channel good girl, she sparked controversy by posing topless for a Vanity Fair photoshoot at the tender age of 15. Not long after, a sheepish Cyrus released a statement saying “I feel so embarrassed.” But is she still, we wonder?
13. Her epic racial insensitivity
At the 2015 VMAs – an event later described as “tone deaf” – Cyrus came under fire for calling rapper Snoop Dogg her “real mammy” and generally being offensive. Nicki Minaj was not impressed, and neither were most viewers – especially since she’d done similarly racially insensitive things before.
12. Her salvia smoking
Back when her most controversial days were still ahead of her, people were actually pretty shocked when Cyrus was caught on camera smoking the drug salvia – one illegal in some U.S. states. “I’m disappointed in myself for disappointing my fans,” she said at the time, describing herself as a role model.
11. Her Britain’s Got Talent performance
When Cyrus stepped on to the Britain’s Got Talent stage in 2010 to sing “Can’t Be Tamed” she proved, well, that she couldn’t be tamed. And when she pretended to kiss one of her female dancers on the family-friendly show, the media instantly slammed her.
10. When she lit up on stage
During the 2013 MTV EMAs, Cyrus started puffing a joint on stage. Why? Well, firstly because she wanted her fans to “go super wild” and secondly because, as she tweeted after, “sometimes in life you just gotta decide to not give AF.” Indeed.
9. Her nipple flash
In amongst all the other outrageous stuff that happened at the 2015 VMAs, Cyrus also inadvertently exposed a nipple while the cameras were watching. But such was the chaos of the night that, surprisingly, no-one seemed to realise until afterwards.
8. Her Wrecking Ball music video
The most iconic and most shocking of all Cyrus’ videos has to be the one she made for Wrecking Ball. In it, the the starlet swings butt naked on, well, a huge wrecking ball. It was controversial, of course – but it racked up an incredible 19 million views in 24 hours.
7. Her fur coat
Cyrus is reportedly an animal lover, but that didn’t stop her dressing in fur for the 2013 Jingle Ball. It wasn’t a smart move career-wise, really, and by 2016 she was loudly denouncing fur wearers and claiming she’d gone vegan, too.
6. Her use of little person dancers
One of Cyrus’ little person backup dancers, Hollis Jane, told the media that she felt “degraded” after being put in a bear costume when performing onstage with the star. And although other dancers who had worked for Cyrus disagreed, the controversy surrounding possible exploitation remained.
5. Her utter love of weed
It’s clear by now that Cyrus really likes weed – and in a way she used it as her first step away from her child-like previous image. In fact, on her 19th birthday, and likely to her PR person’s horror, she was filmed joking about how much of a “stoner” she was.
4. Her topless Rolling Stone shoot
Yes, Cyrus had posed topless before, but people were still surprised to see so much of her on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in 2013 – and licking herself, to boot. And in that particular feature, she also made reference to herself as a “semi-nudist.” As if we hadn’t gathered.
3. Her choice of bar mitzvah outfit
What should Cyrus wear to a bar mitzvah? How about a blue leotard and a massive Star of David? Sure, most people cringed at the outlandish outfit and even deemed it offensive to the Jewish faith. But the bar mitzvah was actually James Franco’s, and he at least apparently loved it.
2. Her drug references in We Can’t Stop
The weed was bad enough, so imagine what Hannah Montana fans thought when Cyrus’ song We Can’t Stop made reference to the drugs ecstasy and cocaine. Cyrus was denounced as a bad role model for the explicit lyrics – and not for the last time, either.
1. Her astonishing VMAs performance with Robin Thicke
By 2013 we were starting to get the picture that Cyrus was becoming something of a wild child. Even so, we weren’t prepared for the explicit, raunchy twerking routine she performed up against Robin Thicke at the VMAs. It almost hurt to watch – but it made her a megastar.