Why Miley Cyrus Doesn't Go By Her Real Name

Miley Cyrus is one of the most famous names and faces around the world. Even though she may have kickstarted her career as a child actor on Disney Channel's "Hannah Montana," she's managed to stay relevant throughout the years as an adult.

After taking off her Hannah Montana wig and pursuing a career outside of that character, Miley told Elle in 2019 that she was still trying to find herself as a performer and person. "I guess that's what I'm still doing — trying on identities and seeing what fits," the "Midnight Sky" hitmaker said, adding, "The fires forced me out of my comfort zone, to find a new place to call home, to say, 'Listen, I have collected all this s**t, all these years, but that doesn't make me who I am. That doesn't amount to me.'"

Miley's music career evolved tremendously when she dropped her 2013 album "Bangerz." Along with her edgy, bold new look, Entertainment Weekly noted she had transitioned from her former family-friendly pop sound and embraced hip-hop influences. For her most recent record, "Plastic Hearts," Miley sported a more punk image and took inspiration from glam rock from the '80s. The collaborations on the LP included Dua Lipa, Billy Idol, and Joan Jett, per DIY Mag. Despite her high-profile status, many people have come to learn that "Miley" is not actually the singer's birth name.

Miley Cyrus didn't legally change her name until 2008

Miley Cyrus was not born Miley Cyrus. During an appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" with his daughter, Billy Ray Cyrus explained how he and his wife, Tish Cyrus, gave Miley the name Destiny Hope Cyrus and had been planning on calling her that the whole time they were expecting. "Before she was born, I just felt like it was her destiny to bring hope into the world," the "Achy Breaky Heart" hitmaker said. However, once she was welcomed into their lives, they gave her the nickname "Smiley" because she was a happy child. Eventually, Smiley evolved into Miley.

When Miley started her career on Disney Channel, she chose to go ahead and use Miley Cyrus professionally. However, she wouldn't legally change her name until 2008, when she was already famous, per Showbiz Cheat Sheet. As noted by the outlet, her legal name now includes the middle name Ray, which pays homage to her grandfather, Democratic politician Ronald Ray Cyrus from Kentucky, as well as her famous dad.

When Miley married Australian actor Liam Hemsworth in 2018, Hemsworth told "Live with Kelly and Ryan" that Miley had legally changed her name again to Miley Ray Hemsworth. However, professionally, she stuck to Miley Cyrus. The pair split in 2020.

Fans were stunned after finding out about Miley Cyrus' birth name

Even though Miley Cyrus has been famous for well over a decade, fans continue to become shocked when they find out her birth name is in fact Destiny Hope Cyrus.

"MILEY CYRUS REAL NAME IS DESTINY HOPE?!? Since when?!?" one user wrote passionately in capital letters on Twitter in 2021. "So you mean to tell me Miley Ray Cyrus's ACTUAL name is Destiny Hope Cyrus??!!?!?!/!" another person shared that same year. "Wait a minute. She was born Destiny Hope Cyrus and changed her name to Miley Ray Cyrus," a third user shared in 2020. "did you guys know that Miley Cyrus's name is actually Destiny Hope Cyrus? I just realized that she's lived a triple life #bestofthreeworlds," another user wrote.

As noted by Miley's IMDb page, her early acting roles from the early 2000s in "Doc" and "Big Fish" have her credited as Destiny Cyrus. It wouldn't be until she was cast as the lead in "Hannah Montana" in 2006 when this would change. In fact, that role changed a lot in Miley's life. For the show's 15-year anniversary last March, she penned a heartfelt letter, writing in part (via The Wrap), "Hannah, I hope you hear me and believe those words are true. You have all my love and utmost gratitude. Breathing life into you for those six years was an honor."