She has 13,859,821 followers on her Twitter account (@MileyCyrus). Her bio on the social networking site reads, “California face. With a down south rump.” That “rump”—or lack thereof—is one of the leading factors behind Miley Cyrus’ most recent upshot in fame. She is a household name again, although it’s for reasons other than being the star of a hit show on the Disney Channel. Suddenly, teens, tweens, and twenty-somethings are forced to describe twerking to their parents in an effort to describe Miley’s dance moves. Cyrus is on top of the public interest list, and she’s got the numbers to prove it.
Her latest album, ‘Bangerz’, is set to drop October 8th. The track list features collaborations with hip hop greats including Future, Nelly, Big Sean, French Montana, and Ludacris; a song called “SMS (BANGERZ)“ will feature Britney Spears; and one song was penned by rapper/songwriter/producer Pharrell Williams. She also was featured on a song by rapper Mike WiLL Made It called “23”, alongside Juicy J and Wiz Khalifa.
The first single off the album, “We Can’t Stop,” reached 195,946,327 views on YouTube and peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. As of August 18th, it was downloaded 148,000 times, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Her second single, the topic of the most recent Miley-related discussions, is called “Wrecking Ball”, and it reached 101,130,078 views. With these numbers, Billboard is predicting that the single will reach No. 1 on the Hot 100 list, surpassing its predecessor.
During her now infamous VMA performance aside Robin Thicke, Twitter was abuzz with 306,100 tweets per minute. Recently, people in the United States viewed webpages related to Cyrus twelve times as often as webpages related to the events unfolding in Syria, according to outbrain.com. (Embarrassing.) Clearly, Miley is causing a stir across the nation. If that isn’t enough, she’s set to host “Saturday Night Live” on October 5th.
Regardless of why Americans are interested in Cyrus’ recent wild antics, the fact is that we are giving her personal life, her social media activity, her performances, and her music a ridiculous amount of attention. And while Miley has tons of fans that have been with her through her Hannah Montana days and beyond, most of us have been viewing her actions as of late with a critical eye. From bumping and grinding with other women to bumping and grinding with a married thirty-something, she has definitely made some questionable choices.
But that doesn’t stop us from talking about her. Because of our obsession—She did what to her hair?! Why isn’t she wearing her engagement ring? A line in the bathroom?!—Miley is undoubtedly laughing her way to the bank. She flaunts the fact that she smokes tons of weed and hangs out with rappers who are notorious for the same thing. She shamelessly walks the streets of Los Angeles braless. She wears skin-bearing bodysuits and cropped tops and short shorts and knee-high boots. She dances with giant teddy bears. She licks hammers and swings nakedly on giant wrecking balls. And she doesn’t care what you say because good or bad attention makes no difference; attention is attention, and she’ll make bank off of it.
This post was originally published on Tumblr on September 15, 2013.