Having a best-selling record is good reassurance — and Miley Cyrus, the Tennessee-born daughter of Flatwoods native Billy Ray Cyrus, is getting plenty of it these days.
Her new EP, The Time of Our Lives, is in the top 10 of the charts, her song The Climb has been No. 1 on Billboard's adult contemporary chart for weeks, and her song Party in the U.S.A. has been in the top 10.
It's just another example of the teen star's maturing career. She's still known to millions as the star of the Disney phenomenon Hannah Montana, but she's not just a teen queen anymore. VH1 crowned her one of its "divas," she's in an upcoming movie playing a defiant teen, and she's calling the shots on her "Wonder World" tour, which stops at Rupp Arena this weekend with older brother (and Ashland native) Trace's band, Metro Station.
Miley, 16, recently talked about her new show, growing up and what being a diva means to her.
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Question: Describe the new album The Time of Our Lives.
Answer: It is a transitioning album. ... Everything is like a stepping stone. And that was really to introduce people to what I want my next record to sound like, and with time, I will be able to do that a little more, and timing is just everything. So it is really about us working our way up to being able to do the music you really love.
Q: What would you say is the most divalike thing about you?
A: This tour is the most diva thing. Because when I got here, it was like, "OK, we are not messing around; this thing is going to be like full-out. We are going to get everything; it's going to continue to blow peoples minds." And everyone was like, "All right, Miley is stepping it up." And I was like, "Yeah, it is my tour." The first time I was actually going out, no Hannah Montana, none of that. Just my own style.
Q: You are going to be in the film The Last Song, out next spring. Is it a departure from your Hannah character?
A: I really do get to do a little bit of everything. It is not like getting away from it at all; it is just showing more of a side that I want to show. I love doing Hannah Montana, but I want to continue doing things that are a little bit more darker roles. That is kind of who I am and where I find most of my inspiration in movies like that.
Q: Now that you are getting older, there is more talk of you possibly retiring the Hannah Montana character.
A: I thought about retiring when I was like 15. Just kidding. I would have retired like 12 years ago.
Q: When that day does come, obviously it will be very sad, but will it also a little bit of a relief?
A: I want to continue to do everything I can. My dad always says, "If you ain't having fun, it ain't working." And so when I stop having fun, I'll just quit everything altogether. But, I'm having fun. ... I think I will forever do that, if I have the people that I'm around still around me. They make me happy, and the people that I work with I really love. ... I will be able to tour the rest of my life if I am having fun.