Today Miley Cyrus enters a new decade as she celebrates her 30th birthday.
From teen star to pop icon, the final 16 years of the ‘Wrecking Ball’ singer’s illustrious career would not have been the same without her starring in the hit Disney Channel series Hannah Montana, which ran from 2006 to 2011 it is associated soundtrack albums.
Cyrus was just 13 years old when the first episode aired on March 24, 2006. HHer iconic role as Miley Stewart, the Malibu girl who leads a double life and turns into famous pop singer Hannah Montana at night, quickly catapulted the young actress to stardom. The character’s secret identity intrigued fans and propelled the popular sitcom through four memorable seasons spanning nearly 100 episodes. Cyrus even described her blonde alter-ego as a “rocket that flew me to the moon and never got me back down” while paying tribute to the idolized character for the show’s 15th anniversary last year.
In honor of the global phenomenon that the show was and Cyrus’ 30th birthday, here are 10 Hannah Montana facts only a true Miley Cyrus fan would know.
READ MORE: Miley Cyrus Responds to Elon Musk Revealing Her Secret Identity as ‘Hannah Montana’
Cyrus could also have starred as Lilly Truscott, Miley Stewart’s best friend
The actress originally auditioned for the outgoing skateboarder before the show makers asked her to read the protagonist’s lines. At first she was turned down for being too young, but a few weeks later, Cyrus received the life-changing call and was cast as Miley Stewart/Hannah Montana.
Hannah Montana remains one of Disney’s most successful shows
The show is also one of Disney’s only series to have broken Disney’s 65-episode rule. The musical sitcom had a total of 98 episodes, making it the third longest-running series on Disney behind That’s So Raven (2003) at 100 episodes and Wizards of Waverly Place (2007) at 106 episodes.
There is only one episode in which Cyrus did not appear as Hannah Montana
In the show’s four seasons, there appears to be only one episode where Cyrus didn’t dress up as a pop superstar, and it made an early appearance in Season 1 Episode 23, titled “School Bully.”
READ MORE: Miley Cyrus reveals how the concept of ‘Hannah Montana’ gave her an ‘identity crisis’
Cyrus’ on-screen rival was portrayed by another Disney Channel star
On the show, Selena Gomez portrayed Mikayla Skeech, the scheming nemesis who loves Miley Stewart but despises Hannah Montana. Gomez guest-starred in three episodes in 2007 just before she came to dominate Disney as beloved teenage sorceress Alex Russo. In real life, the two actresses were both dating Nick Jonas, who also appeared in Hannah Montana alongside his Jonas brothers’ bandmates Joe and Kevin Jonas.
“Hannah Montana” almost didn’t exist
The teen pop star was almost called “Alexis Texas” — the show’s initial working title — instead of “Hannah Montana.” Luckily, the crew discovered that an adult cast member was already working under the name, so Alexis (from Texas?) was renamed. Other show titles considered were “Anna Cabana” and “Samantha York.”
“Miley” should not be used as the same name for the main character
Miley Stewart was originally supposed to be called Zoe Stewart, then Chloe Stewart. Showmakers chose “Miley” so the 13-year-old actress doesn’t have to remember multiple names.
Almost every episode title refers to a famous song
Take Season 3 Episode 3 titled “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Tooth” which was inspired by the 1976 track “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart” by Elton John and Kiki Dee.
READ MORE: ‘Hannah Montana’ Casting Director Reveals Other Actors Who Almost Landed the Role and Shares Character’s Original Name
A contract prevented Cyrus from singing Hannah’s hits
Hannah Montana featured a number of catchy songs, but once Cyrus’ Disney contract ended, she no longer had the right to perform a song written specifically for the series or 2009’s Hannah Montana: The Movie. which had a theatrical release.
The Stewart Beach House is also home to another TV character
The Stewart family’s beach house in Malibu in Hannah Montana is also Madeline’s home in Big Little Lies. During an episode of Cyrus’ Instagram Live series Bright Minded, she revealed, “I don’t know if you knew Madeline Martha Mackenzie and Hannah Montana lived in the same house, maybe even at the same time. So there could be a plot twist here that you actually had a roommate — that you lived with Hannah Montana.
Hannah Montana could have ended differently
The dramatic end of “Hannah Montana” could have ended differently. Instead of Hannah finally revealing the truth about her counterpart to the world normal Identity could have ended the sitcom with the entire series being a fantasy of young Miley Cyrus.