Younger Now: An Homage to the Innocence of Hannah Montana

For just 24 years old, former Disney star Miley Cyrus has gone through numerous public changes. From innocent Hannah Montana to strong activist, high school students followed her journey throughout their childhoods.

Cyrus’ most recent album encompasses her newfound ability to accept that her childhood is still a big part of her which is reflected in the title, “Younger Now.

Cyrus chose “Younger Now’s” advertising to be inspired by music icon Elvis Presley’s style. Album-related Instagram posts feature side-by-side comparisons of her in retro jumpsuits and Presley’s notable style. With an audible nod to Presley, Cyrus channels her country roots in her new album, drifting away from her previous approach to music.

Presley’s album cover

Cyrus’ country roots developed while growing up with music influencers such as her father, Billy Ray Cyrus. However, her role as “Hannah Montana” in her early years encouraged her ‘pop’ music sound.

From 2006 to 2011, Cyrus starred as a teenager with a double life living in Malibu, California.  In the show, Cyrus took on the role of a ‘normal’ girl during the day and a pop star at night.

Throughout the entirety of the show, the Hannah Montana franchise released a total of 8 soundtracks. During this same time, Cyrus came out with 4 albums, all categorized in the pop genre.

After the end of the show, Cyrus’ first public step into ‘adulthood’ was her infamous performance on MTV’s Video Music Awards in 2013. She sang “We Can’t Stop,” a hit off of her “Bangerz” album. Her overall risqué appearance that night sparked controversy about her dancing, outfit and character.

Although “Bangerz” notoriously contentious, it proved to be successful. “Wrecking Ball” became Cyrus’ first number one hit on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.  

Cyrus’ album cover

However, her newest album proved to not be as popular. “Younger Now” is number 133 on the Billboard 200 chart as of the week of the 23rd of October.

The lack of popularity might be due to the fact that “Younger Now” sports a unique sound—a mixture of country, rock and pop. This is a side of Cyrus’ music her fans have never heard before.

“Rainbowland,” featuring Dolly Parton, showcases a traditional country sound. Songs like “Malibu” and “Younger Now” are upbeat and highlight Cyrus’ vocal range. All the songs are accompanied by a strong instrument track and harmonies.

Cyrus has recently connected “Bad Mood” with tragedies the country has faced through lyrics like, “You know it’s gone on way too long, don’t ya? And you know it’s wrong, don’t ya?” “Bad Mood” incorporates the use of new instruments in this song, emphasizing folk sounds.

Along with displaying her new look, Cyrus emerged as a huge activist for equality, showing her support for women and the LGBTQ+ community in public statements. Cyrus used her passion for equality and fortune to create the Happy Hippie Foundation, a charity benefitting the homeless youth.

Cyrus performing in her Happy Hippie Foundation apparel

She used “Younger Now” to further this mission when she donated all of her personal proceeds from the second single released, “Inspired,” to her foundation. This makes “Younger Now” even more legendary for her career.

Her career came full circle this August when she was featured on MTV VMA’s again. She sang a few of her past hits, along with songs off of “Younger Now”. She used this stage time to advertise her new, but younger look.