A few years ago when Miley Cyrus was at the height of her fame with her television show Hannah Montana, the teen star said in a TV interview she would never go down the road so well travelled by teen stars before her.
She claimed her head was on straight and said her faith would prevent her from falling for the same fame trap as Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears or Paris Hilton. In short, she was better than them.
A few short years and a lot of bare skin later, Cyrus is setting the world on fire with a booming musical career. Of course, her success is due in part to her talent, but like every child star’s playbook before her, she learned quickly that controversy helps fuel stardom, good or bad.
In the last few months alone, she has been on the cover of several major magazines including Rolling Stone, landed in top spot on Facebook’s biggest topics of the year, named artist of the year by MTV, received almost 400 million views for her body-baring video Wrecking Ball and became fodder for late-night talk show hosts for her twerking at MTV’s Video Music Awards.
Her stratospheric popularity is just the latest black mark for the state of our society. What was once a nice, cute kid on a Disney television show has morphed into a snarky, tongue-wagging, narcissistic media hog.
When musician Sinead O’Connor tried to warn Cyrus that “the music business is corrupt” and “a spiritually corrupt arena,” Cyrus fired back by making fun of O’Connor’s mental-health issues.
So, how did it come to this? A Hollywood lifestyle obviously doesn’t help, and growing up the daughter of a famous musician, Billy Ray, will surely lead to a disconnect with societal norms.
Billy Ray once said he regretted trying to be Miley’s friend instead of her father. Such a dynamic isn’t unique in Hollywood, as it seems more and more parents are afraid to discipline their children for misbehaviour. Billy Ray’s regret should be heeded by parents with teens who want their children to make it big in the world for their brains, not because of their popularity.
And while Billy Ray can’t change the past, he no doubt is hoping against hope that his daughter will be the rare breed of celebrities that doesn’t become a train wreck.
And for the sake of her fans, we hope that with maturity, Miley Cyrus will actually follow the advice of O’Connor, who said the only way to survive the corrupt industry “is to love music.”
We Say editorials represent the viewpoint of The Daily News and are written by publisher Tim Shoults, city editor Tracy Gilchrist, or associate news editors Dan Spark and Mark Rogers.