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Destiny Hope Cyrus was born in Nashville, Tennessee on November 23, 1992. Her parents, country singer Billy Ray Cyrus and Letitia Jean “Tish”, named her Destiny in the belief that her life would be filled with great accomplishments. As she would often smile as a baby, the nickname “Smiley” was given to her by her father. The nickname was later shortened to “Miley”.
Miley eventually changed her middle name to “Ray” in honor of her grandfather, politician Ronald Ray Cyrus, to whom she was very close before his passing. Miley Cyrus’ godmother is famed long-time entertainer Dolly Parton.
Miley found a love for theater and acting as a young child. After an experience with her father seeing a production of Mamma Mia!, Cyrus began to take singing and acting lessons. In 2003 Cyrus appeared in the Tim Burton movie Big Fish, playing the role of “Young Ruthie”. In 2006 Miley sent an audition tape to a casting call for a show that eventually became Hannah Montana. Though Miley was trying to audition for the best friend role, she was called to audition for the lead role of “Chloe Stewart”, a girl with a secret double life as a student and a teen star.