Ask any teen or twenty-something the question, “Who is Miley Cyrus?” and you’ll never be met with a blank stare of confusion. Miley Cyrus is one of the biggest pop stars ever, and virtually everyone in her target audience knows her name.
But do they know the right name? It’s common practice for many celebrities to use a stage name or singer name. And ‘Miley Cyrus’ is such a clean, stage-ready name that it must be a nickname or something, right?
What Is Miley Cyrus’ Real Name?
Miley Cyrus’ birth name was Destiny Hope Cyrus. She was born to legendary country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, and actress and producer Leticia Jean Cyrus, on November 23, 1992. Her parents named her “Destiny Hope” because they believed—rightfully so!—that she’d go on to have great achievements.
Growing up, Destiny Hope Cyrus had a cheerful disposition, which always made itself known through a never-ending grin on her face. Her father gave her the nickname ‘Smiley’ because of this.
Over time, the nickname ‘Smiley’ evolved into ‘Miley,’ and soon everyone called her that.
When Did Miley Cyrus Change Her Name?
Miley Cyrus would go on to make it big. Her breakout role was in 2006 on Disney’s Hannah Montana, where she played the titular character. Funnily enough, her character’s alter ego was named Miley Stewart, which possibly suggested the name she wanted to keep.
Destiny Hope Cyrus was credited on the show under her nickname ‘Miley’ and went on to release a huge album as Hannah Montana. In 2007, she released another album, Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus, where half of the songs were credited to the Hannah Montana character, and the other half served as her debut as her real-life persona, Miley Cyrus.
By then, she was so well-known as Miley Cyrus, and virtually no mention of Destiny Hope was being made. Miley Cyrus’ name change happened in 2008, leaving Destiny Hope behind. The filing described the reason for the change as: “to make her commonly used name the same as her legal name.”
In a 2017 interview with Howard Stern on SiriusXM, Miley expressed her opinion about her original name, saying that it "sounds kinda strippy."
Today, Miley Cyrus’ full name is Miley Ray Cyrus. Miley Cyrus' middle name ‘Ray’ refers to her grandfather, Democratic politician Ronald Ray Cyrus, who died in 2006, two years before the name change. Her grandmother is the only person in her life who still calls her ‘Destiny Hope.’
Because there was hardly any buzz about the name change or Miley Cyrus’ birth name, it’s understandable that fans would be surprised to discover that her real name is ‘Destiny Hope’.
Last December, a bunch of fans found her real name and took to Twitter with the discovery. The news spread like wildfire, with shocked reactions making up most of the tweets.
“Sooo am I the only one who never knew Miley Cyrus’s real name is Destiny Hope,” wrote Taylor Nicole (@TNicole3396) about the whole affair.
@htebasoj tweeted, “I was today years old when I found out that Miley Cyrus’s real name is Destiny Hope.”
Of course, let’s clear the air a little. Today, Miley Cyrus’ first name really is Miley, as she’s had it legally changed. It’s not a stage name anymore!
Today, Miley Cyrus is more than just an award-winning singer. She’s also a philanthropist and animal rights advocate. She has a net worth of over $200 million, far exceeding that of her father’s and making her one of the richest performers ever. She’s even a judge on The Voice.
On top of it all, she just married Liam Hemsworth in a private ceremony!
And there’s still so much more on the horizon for her. A seventh studio album has been in the works for at least two years now. Just last week she teased an image labelled “She Is Coming,” which might well be the title of that album.