July 21, 2008 — -- Miley Cyrus said she wants to thank her fans for sticking by her during months of controversy surrounding her photo spread in Vanity Fair, a media move the 15-year-old Disney star now says was a "mistake."
"It was a hard time. But I think just, you know, learning from your mistakes is the biggest thing," Cyrus, the 'tween behind the enormously successful "Hannah Montana" character, said in an exclusive interview with "Good Morning America's" Robin Roberts.
"It kind of really made me remember how much my fans really do support me, 'cause they all stuck by me."
Pictures of the singer draped in a white bedsheet, showing her bare back, in what critics called a seductive pose, drew the ire of many parents of the 'tween phenom's fans, and had some entertainment outlets and bloggers buzzing about what they deemed Cyrus' big gaffe. They openly questioned if the good-girl, wholesome teen they'd come to admire had gone bad.
See what else Miley Cyrus has to say Tuesday, July 22, when her full interview with "GMA" anchor Robin Roberts airs.
Though the incident served as an educational experience for the young role model and brought some negative publicity to Cyrus for a brief period, her overall popularity endured and has continued thriving.
Cyrus has captured the limelight in every aspect of pop culture, and her stard shows no signs of waning.
Still, the 15-year-old said that, despite her thousands of fans, millions of records sold and countless magazine covers, she often feels "just like a normal teenager."
"Then, when I go out and about, I'm like, 'OK, like I'm not in this normal life,'" she said in an interview with Robin Roberts. "It's not a normal world."
And the teenager admitted she misses some of the simple pastimes other girls her age enjoy.
"Sometimes I'm, you know, I'm like, 'Oh, I want to go to the mall,'" said Cyrus, whose new album "Breakout" will be released on Tuesday. "I'm thinking, 'I'm totally gonna be fine and be able to shop around.' It's, like, OK, not a normal teenager, you know."
The majority of teenagers can't stroll through any mall and see their likeness plastered on all types of products for consumers to grab; neither could they claim to have sold two multiplatinum albums or performed more than 70 sold-out concerts during the past year.
But Cyrus can claim all those things.
When she chats with close friends, Cyrus said the difference between her daily routine and theirs becomes clearer.
"They're all like, 'OK, you're totally on a different planet,'" she said. "'Cause we'll be talking, you know, I'm like, 'Oh, I bet that's how school is.'"
But she said her friends tell her, "It's, like, totally different. It is not, like, all happy and smiley. It's, you know, probably much harder than your job, you know, what you do."
That's why this life, even with its mega stardom, media scrutiny and seemingly adult work schedule, is one in which Cyrus said she is comfortable.
She might love her Converse shoes, texting and her roller skates, just like lots of 15-year-olds, but she admits, "I don't know if I could go back to, like, a normal life. I think it would be too hard."