The Evolution of Miley Cyrus

Although Miley Cyrus officially burst onto the nation's tween scene in 2006, Mileymania has captured the attention of the country's youngest consumers in only the past 12 months.

As a singer, songwriter and child actress Cyrus has cornered the child stardom market, with her fame increasing as she has distinguished herself from her star-making character, "Hannah Montana."

The title of her new album, "Breakout," seems eerily appropriate for an actress whose character once eclipsed her, but who now overshadows her alter ego.

Click here to watch Miley Cyrus rock "GMA's" Summer Concert stage in Bryant Park, New York City.

Tune in to "Good Morning America Weekend" on Saturday July 19th for another exclusive Miley Cyrus performance!

"It's a more grown-up Cyrus that emerges on her new album," according to a Billboard review.

Miley's Rapid Rise

Cyrus, whose new record arrives July 22, wrote all but two songs on the disc. Her record follows a brief -- she's only 15 -- but extremely successful career that resulted in Forbes magazine naming her the 17th top earner younger than 25 in 2007. She banked $3.5 million last year, according to the magazine, which expects Cyrus' income and stock to rise in the upcoming years.

If she continues at her current rate, the superstar sensation can expect huge achievements. She already has had two albums debut at No.1 on the Billboard 200 chart ( the "Hannah Montana" soundtrack, plus a double disc featuring her own recordings).

Those numbers translated into huge ticket sales for her concert tour, which sold out when it kicked off in October. The tour drew nearly 1 million fans.

She is in the midst of filming "Hannah Montana's" third season, as well as a "Hannah" movie that is filming in Tennessee and will open next year.

The daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus also is preparing for another tour, with dates to be announced.

Her career has already eclipsed her father's, who became a household name with "Achy Breaky Heart" in 1992, the same year Cyrus was born.

So, maybe Miley was destined for success, as her birth name, Destiny Hope Cyrus, suggests. Her parents said she was destined to bring hope to the world, but Cyrus preferred her nickname -- Smiley Miley, which was given to her as a baby because of her sunny disposition -- and in March, sought to have her name legally changed to Miley Ray Cyrus.

Troubles and Controversies

But this teen's storied accomplishments haven't come without critics or controversy. After a dance crew challenged her to the biggest online dance battle in YouTube history, Cyrus responded with her own high-production, dance-off video.

But her biggest controversy came in April when Vanity Fair showed a bare-backed Cyrus entwined in a sheet, with darkened red lips.

"I'm sorry that my portrait of Miley has been misinterpreted," Leibovitz said in a statement released by Vanity Fair. "Miley and I looked at fashion photographs together and we discussed the picture in that context before we shot it. The photograph is a simple, classic portrait, shot with very little makeup, and I think it is very beautiful."

Cyrus, who touts her Christian roots, quickly apologized to her fans and said she was embarrassed.

"I took part in a photo shoot that was supposed to be 'artistic' and now, seeing the photographs and reading the story, I feel so embarrassed," she said in a statement. "I never intended for any of this to happen, and I apologize to my fans who I care so deeply about."

Cyrus and her father also received a lot of flack when they were filmed without seatbelts in the movie "Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert." Critics said the singer was a bad role model and her father later apologized for the gaffe.

Even with the bumps along her rise to fame, Cyrus has maintained a seemingly unstoppable march toward superstardom and the A-list. Disney's current "it" girl follows in the footsteps of Hillary Duff and Raven Symone, and it already looks like 2008 will surpass the previous year's success.

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