We Can't Stop Staring At Noah Cyrus' Transformation - Nicki Swift (2024)

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We Can't Stop Staring At Noah Cyrus' Transformation - Nicki Swift (1)

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ByTreva Bowdoin/

The following article includes references to mental health issues, domestic violence, drug use, and self-harm.

It's often difficult for children to grow up with famous parents, but Noah Cyruswas hit with a double whammy. When she was six years old, her older sister transformed into teen megastar Hannah Montana, the rare performer who got to have the best of both worlds. But for Noah, being both an average kid and an entertainer was never really an option.

While Miley Cyrus pursued a career as an ever-evolving pop star after her Disney Channel graduation, Noah gradually gravitated toward the country genre. It's what originally made her surname synonymous with music that leaves a mark on pop culture — and Noah thinks that her dad, "Achy Breaky Heart" hitmaker Billy Ray Cyrus, might be partially responsible for the themes of tears and heartbreak that are so prevalent in her melancholy music. "I remember the first song he ever taught me was 'Seasons in the Sun' by Terry Jacks," Noah recalled to The Telegraph."We sang it together. It's a really depressing song: I guess that's what started my 'sad' songwriting." However, she doesn't sing the same style of country music as Billy Ray; it's like comparing a Stetson Open Road to Kacey Musgrave's light-up "space cowboy hat." (Noah once told Forbes that she wants to be "a musical alien," so this comparison is apt.)Of her famous family members, Noah told Coveteur, "We might share the same DNA, we might be blood, but we're so different." And, her dramatic transformation is definitely proof positive of this.

Noah Cyrus wanted a normal childhood

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As a kid, Noah Cyrus didn't desire Hannah Montana's dual identity; the Tennessee native only wanted the "normal" half of Hannah's life. "I had a really hard time being a part of a public family ... it wasn't exactly my first choice," she told Rolling Stone.At age 2, she appeared on her dad's series "Doc," so, clearly, that wasn't exactly a decision she could have made on her own. However, she continued acting when she got a bit older. She made cameos in "Hannah Montana," played a trick-or-treater in the 2007 direct-to-DVD movie "Mostly Ghostly," and voiced the titular character in the English redubbing of the 2008 animated movie "Ponyo."

Noah didn't just struggle with the irresistible pull of the entertainment industry; her sister's popularity among her age group made going to school a drag. "I wanted to blend in. I just wanted to be Noah, not Hannah Montana's sister," she told The Standard.

Unfortunately, internet users were coming under the thrall of celebrity bloggers and social media around that time. When Noah was nine, Perez Hilton shamed her for acting older than her age by dancing and lip-syncing to the Kesha song "TiK ToK" on YouTube. "Way to promote big sister Miley, lil Cyrus," he wrote. Noah also discovered that Instagrammers were making cruel remarks about her appearance when she joined the platform at age 11. "It made me look in a mirror in the morning and cry," she told The Standard.

Why riding horses became hard for her

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Music was not Noah Cyrus' first passion. She's loved riding horses since she was a tiny tot, telling Rolling Stone that an equestrian center in Calabasas became her refuge after her family left Tennessee for Hollywood when she was 10. It wasn't just the company of the horses that she found comforting. "When I came here I was Noah. I wasn't a Cyrus, I was just Noah," she said. Noah was a competitive equestrian who became so skilled at the sport that it was once her top career ambition. "I want to go to the Olympics for riding and then possibly become a trainer," she told Teen Vogue in 2013. "Maybe I'll sing and act when I'm older, but right now, it's just about the horses."

Noah's older sister Brandi Cyrus has also ridden competitively, and she helped Noah learn the ropes when she first became interested in the sport. "It was so great, because Noah and I spent so much time together and became even closer," Brandi told Sidelines, adding that Tish Cyrus also joined them as a spectator.

Cyrus told NME that horseback riding remained the center of her world until age 15. Sadly, something heartbreaking happened that pushed her toward her fate: penning song after song about her pain. "I did want to work with animals, but one of my horses died, really tragically," she told The Standard. "It honestly really scarred me. Riding horses was hard for me after that."

How Ryan Seacrest helped jump-start her music career

In a 2019Paperinterview, Noah Cyrus revealed that she wrote her first song for a devastating reason: She wanted to convince a friend who was engaging in self-harm that she would be missed if she were gone. She told W magazine that she also penned some songs about romance, despite having no experience with it. However, it wasn't until she listened to the Ben Howard record "I Forget Where We Were" that she began pursuing a music career in earnest. "That album really made me fall in love with singing," she recalled to NME. Her first live performance came at age 15 when she sang her father's song "Could've Been Me" and Vance Joy's "Riptide" at a coffee shop, per W. During a 2023 "On Air with Ryan Seacrest" appearance, she told Ryan Seacrest that his decision to share footage of the "Riptide" performance on his show played a pivotal role in her career. "It's the reason I got signed to a record label," she shared.

When Cyrus decided it was time to enter the family business, her manager didn't celebrate and say "Finally!" She recalled to Paper, "There was a good three or four months of him saying: 'Are you sure you want to do this? This is going to suck, Noah, this is a struggle." But she'd already experienced that thrill of being on stage and wanted more. "I was like, 'Yup, I'm 100% sure. Let's run this b***h.'"

Noah Cyrus released her debut single in 2016

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Noah Cyrus worked with British singer-songwriter Labrinth on the track that would become her debut single, "Make Me (Cry)." It's a breakup song about being unable to let go of a lover even though they have a real talent for causing tears to flow. Speaking to Billboard in 2016, Cyrus revealed that Labrinth already had the song's chorus completed when they first met, but they wrote the verses together. Originally, they didn't plan to record the track as a duet; it was something Cyrus decided she wanted to do after hearing Labrinth's vocals. "I was like, 'There's no way I'm putting this out without you,'" she recalled.

The song put Cyrus on the map by breaking into the Top 40. "I remember hearing 'Make Me (Cry)' on the radio when I was getting food from a burger drive-through in my hometown, and my mom was screaming, 'That's my little girl!' That moment changed my life forever," Cyrus recalled to The Telegraph. She also told Coveteur that she was surprised by how fast the song went platinum in the U.S., but admitted that she was more excited about being nominated for a 2017 MTV VMA in the Best New Artist category. Unfortunately, her success brought out the internet trolls in full force. Cyrus decided to turn her Instagram comments off, but not before seeing one that amused her. "Someone told me I had a weird belly button, which I laughed at," she told Fader.

She toured with Katy Perry

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In 2017, Noah Cyrus made one of her first controversial moves as a musician by recording the song "Again" with the late rapper XXXTentacion, who had been accused of domestic battery and other crimes. Spin opined that the collab wasn't a good look for someone with a mostly young, female fanbase. But Cyrus also got a huge opportunity to broaden her audience when she was invited to open for Katy Perry during her "Witness" tour. In an interview with Much, Cyrus recounted how her mom told her she had gotten the gig before her manager could confirm that it was, indeed, hers."My mom kinda jumped the gun a little," she said. Cyrus also shared that she was looking forward to hitting the road in a tour bus, which is something she'd experienced before through her family members.

In a statement expressing her gratitude to Perry, Cyrus seemed to hint that she was possibly a touch nervous about the tour. "Let's hope I don't f*** it up!" she said (via WWD). It seems she had no cause for concern; she even managed to earn some praise from Lady Gaga after covering "Million Reasons" during herfirst tour stop. "This really cheered me up. Keep killin it lil' music angel," Gaga tweeted. Cyrus had previously told Billboard that Gaga was one of her biggest music inspirations,so we're guessing this was one of the highlights of the tour for the younger singer.

Her Xanax use took her to a dark place

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Noah Cyrus planned on giving her first album the provocative title "NC-17" after the MPA rating for movies with content unsuitable for viewers aged 17 and under. The singer picked the title because her initials are "NC" and her goal was to release it at age 17. This likely would have caused a huge fuss, for better or for worse. In 2018, she teamed up with MØ for the similarly provocatively titled "We Are F***ed." It's an anthem about the ills of social media, and Cyrus told NME it was inspired by her experiences being cyberbullied.

Cyrus entered her 18th year without dropping her debut record. However, hercareer not going quite according to plan was the least of her problems in 2018. Per The Telegraph, she was already struggling with body dysmorphia and depression when she became addicted to Xanax. In her 2020 Rolling Stone interview, Cyrus said that she first used Xanax when an ex-boyfriend gave it to her. "Once I felt that it was possible to silence things out for a second and numb your pain, it was over," she shared. It was easy for her to obtain the drug through her circle of friends, and her usage spiraled out of control. Eventually, she started experiencing memory issues and sleeping for long stretches of time. "It just kind of becomes this dark pit, bottomless pit," she said. It would be two years before she decided to seek help.

Lil Xan claimed their relationship was a publicity stunt

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Noah Cyrus' brief relationship with her "Live Or Die" collaborator Lil Xan generated enough drama to fill the pages of a diary. The couple's romance started before they hit the recording studio, with Cyrus telling E! Newsthat Lil Xan reached out to her via a DM slide. "I didn't see it for months," she admitted. They began dating in July 2018, and they engaged in some VMAs PDA a month later. At the event, Cyrus gushed to Billboard, "He's the sweetest ever and treats me like a princess, and when I'm hungry, he gets me chicken nuggets."

By September 2018, the singers had split up and were lobbing cheating allegations at each other on social media in since-deleted posts. Lil Xan also claimed that their relationship was just a PR stunt orchestrated by Columbia Records, which the label denied when contacted by Teen Vogue. Cyrus issued her own denial on social media and later told Cosmopolitan, "I'll make that clear — in bold and highlighted and underlined. I didn't do anything for publicity." She did, however, say that she could see why people would believe her ex's claim due to the timing of their relationship. Shortly after their breakup, Cyrus participated in an actual publicity stunt: selling a bottle of fluid labeled "Noah Cyrus Tears" on the PizzaSlime website. According to Paper, the asking price was $12,000, and a description of the item claimed that it contained Cyrus' actual tears.

Her debut EP was inspired by a toxic relationship

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Noah Cyrus dropped her first EP, "Good Cry," in 2018. Because she reflects on a relationship gone wrong in its six tracks, the most likely inspiration for them seemed to be her most recent ex, Lil Xan. But Cyrus told Paper she's actually singing about someone she dated in high school who was "very verbally abusive." Still, she expresses a powerful longing for her lover to be back in her life in "Topanga." She sings about their dashed dream of owning a home together and admits that she's held on to some of her ex's shirts.

Cyrus later told Cosmopolitan that her difficulty recovering from that toxic relationship likely played a role in her messy fling with Lil Xan. "I was going through a break-up with somebody I was with for two years, and my heart's still broken over that, and then I let somebody in and got too comfortable too fast, I think, and it all blew up in my face," she said. Cyrus also revealed that she wrote some of the songs while she was still dating her ex, and she would let him know when she explored their relationship woes during her songwriting sessions. But for Cyrus, "Good Cry" wasn't just a breakup record. "This EP is mostly just about how my emotions have been, and about my anxiety, and about how I've been struggling with depression, and how it's okay to feel those feelings," she told L'officiel.

Her second EP included a song about Miley Cyrus

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In 2020, Noah Cyrus released her second EP, "The End of Everything." It was another collection of deeply personal songs, including one that delves into how she felt about growing up with her sister's celebrity looming large over her. In "Young & Sad," she likens Miley Cyrus to the sun but says of herself, "I was born to rain clouds." During an Instagram Live, she explained that the song was inspired by people constantly making her feel less than simply because of who she was siblings with. "I always felt like I was that person that no one gave a s*** about due to what people said to me online," she added (via People). Having so many people label her as the same thing also made it more difficult for her to find her footing in the world. "It stripped me of my identity for a long time," she told Rolling Stone.

The EP also includes the song "July." Noah told Paper that it's inspired by the same unhealthy relationship that she sings about in her first EP. She told Verified that she and the song's subject broke up on Independence Day, hence the title(but no, it is not a jaunty Fourth of July playlist staple like Miley's "Party in the USA"). Noah said she got a reminder of why the breakup happened when her ex listened to the song and told her, "Tell whoever wrote it it's pretty great."

Noah Cyrus' CMT Awards outfit caused a stir

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Noah Cyrus wasn't just killing it musically in 2020 — she also served one of the hottest lewks of the year at the 2020 CMT Awards. She was there to perform her duet with Jimmie Allen, "This Is Us." However, it wasn't her powerful vocals and emotional delivery that got many tongues wagging afterward. Cyrus commanded attention on the stage in an outfit that was a little bit country and a little bit Britney. Her nude, bedazzled bodysuit was reminiscent of the one that Britney Spears wears in her "Toxic" music video, but with a rhinestone thong. A white cowboy hat transformed her garb into Western wear, and she completed her outfit with matching opera gloves and thigh-high boots. Her bodysuit was a custom design by Saga NYC created in collaboration with designer Phil Gomez, who described Cyrus as "a dreamy rhinestone space cowgirl" on Instagram.

The daring look offended some CMT viewers. "Great song but that outfit Cyrus was wearing was totally disgusting and distracting," one person tweeted. "I thought this was CMT not MTV. But shouldn't have expect[ed] much coming from a Cyrus. Smh," another wrote. The singer clapped back at one critic, who later deleted their tweet. "My body my choice, b***h," read Cyrus' response. According to Paper, Cyrus' sexy style became Google's most-searched celeb outfit of 2020, so those who wanted to admire her fun 'fit far outnumbered those who wanted her to cover up.

Noah Cyrus loved appearing on American Horror Stories

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In 2021, Noah Cyrus followed in her father's footsteps by getting nominated for a Grammy in the best new artist category. Of her reaction to that news, she told Grammy.com, "I swear if you were to put it up to the Kim Kardashian meme of her crying, it's very, very, very similar." And it wasn't the only reason she had to be excited that year — she was also stoked about getting to return to acting on "American Horror Stories." It was her first acting gig since 2014.

For her role, Noah got to film inside the famous Murder House featured in the first season of "American Horror Story." In an interview with Decider, she fondly reminisced about getting introduced to "AHS" at age 12 while hanging out on Miley Cyrus' tour bus. "She and her friends were watching this show, this creepy show about nuns," she recalled. "That's all I really knew about it because they didn't catch me up on it. It was just like, I loved hanging out with the big kids." But after watching the rest of the show, Noah became a massive stan. Her obsession even started bleeding into her music — she revealed that she wrote a song inspired by the Murder House. However, it wasn't "Ghost," which became part of her episode's soundtrack. Cyrus revealed that she ugly-cried like Kim K. again when she learned that it would be played on the show.

How her dad inspired her debut album

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Noah Cyrus was finally ready to drop her debut album in 2022 — five years after originally planned. By then, she'd had far more life experiences to draw from when baring her soul in her lyrics. Or, as she told Forbes, "I have lived a lot." The album, "The Hardest Part," includes a collab with Death Cab for Cutie frontman Benjamin Gibbard titled "Every Beginning Ends." Gibbard walked away from his experience working with Cyrus admiring her bravery in being so brutally honest about her feelings. "She's really opening herself up with a lot of these songs," he said.

Another song on the album is "Noah (Stand Still)," which opens with a chilling line that references Noah's Xanax addition: "When I turned 20, I was overcome / With the thought that I might not turn 21." She goes on to sing about some advice Billy Ray Cyrus gave her, and when she appeared on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" to promote her album, she shared some additional details about the time he told her to "stand still" while she was visiting him in Tennessee. It started with Billy Ray helping her to return to a simpler time by telling her to stand outdoors barefoot. Once she had grass between her toes, he told her, "Noey, just stand still, breathe in the air. Just stand still and get connected back to who you really are." Noah recorded the song with Billy Ray as a duet.

Noah Cyrus and Pinkus got engaged

In June 2023, Cyrus took to Instagram to announce her engagement to fashion designer Pinkus. "The greatest moment of my entire life was saying 'yes' to spending the rest of ours together. ... I never thought I would ever meet a man like you or someone so selfless and filled with so much love to give," she wrote.

In addition to becoming Pinkus' future bride, Cyrus began serving as the COLORS founder's fashion muse. One of the most ostentatious outfits he's dressed her in was one she rocked for her first appearanceat Paris Fashion Week. It was a black gown crafted out of puffer material that coiled around her body. The garment included a matching headpiece and had small openings that forced her tulle-covered hands down at her sides. The unusual design reminded Noah's Instagram followers of so many things other than dresses, from tires to sleeping bags to bugs. "It's giving would you still love me if I was a worm," one person quipped. "Gothic caterpillar vibes," another wrote. For others, it was giving haute couture Michelin Woman.

While some of Cyrus' fans may find Pinkus' unconventional designs odd, the singer prefers them to his more subdued streetwear creations, which include knit hoodies and cropped bomber jackets. "They really connected to my more dark ethereal style," she told Paper.

Did her sisterly love go sour?

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There was a seismic Cyrus shakeup in April 2022 when Tish Cyrus filed for divorce from Billy Ray Cyrus. Initially, the familial fissure didn't seem to affect the relationships of Noah Cyrus and Miley Cyrus. In September 2022, Noah explained to Forbes why she admires Miley, saying, "That's something that really inspired me as a young little girl, was seeing someone be so strong and confident in themselves and really paving their own path." When she appeared on "American Idol" as a mentor the following April, Noah also mentioned Miley, revealing that "Wrecking Ball" is her "favorite Miley song."

But in August 2023, it appeared as though a divide was forming in the Cyrus clan. When Tish married actor Dominic Purcell, Miley attended the wedding, while Noah did not. On their Instagram accounts, Noah and her brother Braison Cyrus revealed that they were hanging out together at Walmart when the event was taking place. Then came the speculation about a cryptic screenshot of Noah reportedly reacting to Miley's 2020 appearance on "The Joe Rogan Show." The comment read, "The disrespect in this video..." It's unclear if Noah was referencing Miley, Rogan, or both, leaving fans to wonder what was said that bothered her three years later. In the interview, Miley says that Noah is going to therapy and calls her "an emo kid." On X, some fans suggested that Noah's comment was another possible sign of a post-divorce divide between the Cyrus siblings.

Fans were stunned by her Paris Fashion Week appearance

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By 2024, Noah Cyrus had evolved into a full-fledged fashion girlie. She had also mastered the art of wearing avant-garde masterpieces that take a lot of confidence and poise to look comfortable in. One example was the sheer brown Stéphane Rolland haute couture gown she wore during Paris Fashion Week. It was embellished with oval-shaped fabric bubbles and featured silver detailing around the neck.

When Noah shared photos of the Stéphane Rolland dress on Instagram, all some of her followers could focus on was her face. "Your face is giving Madonna vibes circa 2023 ... That's not a good look," one person wrote. Another compared her to Marilyn Manson, while others suggested that she's used filler to plump her pout. In a 2022 TikTok video, Noah responded to a comment from someone saying that she "definitely" had her lips done. She eviscerated the internet troll by lip-syncing along with a sound that said in part, "F***king little tattletale rat! Okay, anyway, you're a rodent."

The comments about Cyrus' appearance are reminiscent of the insults that hurt her so badly when she was younger. But eventually, she realized that it was a mistake to concern herself with the opinions of the people who were being disturbingly cruel to a tween. "Social media doesn't give you validation or make you pretty. You make you pretty," she told NME. It's a shame she's undergone so much growth while social media has remained so toxic.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues or mental health, may be the victim of domestic abuse, or is struggling or in crisis, contact the relevant resources below:

We Can't Stop Staring At Noah Cyrus' Transformation - Nicki Swift (2024)
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