Miley Cyrus in Hannah Montana.

Almost 15 years ago to the day, Hannah Montana made its career-launching premiere on Disney Channel, and the series has since become one of the network’s most popular and beloved shows. Miley Cyrus starred as Miley Stewart, your average schoolgirl by day and international pop star by night. The attention-grabbing singer is now opening up about how hard it was dealing with her Hannah Montana fame during and after the show came to an end in 2011.

Miley Cyrus was a guest on the recent episode of Spotify’s Rock This with Allison Hagendorf, where she spoke about her struggles with her post-Hannah fame after being on the series for a decade, and how her first post-show album Bangerz's concept mirrored the character she once played. Cyrus explained:

I feel like that started a lot with Bangerz. Bangerz was the first record I made after being on my TV show for the past 10 years, and again like talking about an identity crisis. I had gone from being a character almost as often as I was myself. And actually the concept of the show is that when you're this character, when you have this alter ego, you're valuable. You've got like millions of fans, you're the biggest star in the world. Then the concept was that when I looked like myself, when I didn't have the wig on anymore, no one cared about me. I wasn't a star anymore.

Hannah Montana followed Miley Cyrus' Miley Stewart as she lived a normal teenage girl half the time, as a largely unpopular girl with just two friends at school. However, when she put on the Hannah Montana wig, she became an international pop star adored by millions. Cyrus went on to say that the duality concept was something she became quite familiar with, and it in some ways led to her playing into different personas. Cyrus said:

So, that was drilled into my head, like without being Hannah Montana, no one cares about you. That was the concept. So, I really had to break that. I think that’s maybe why I almost created like a ‘character’-ized version of myself at times. In the way of being aware of how other people see me… I was aware of how people saw me and I kind of played into it a little bit.

Miley Cyrus’ chart-topping Bangerz album released in 2013, a full two years after Hannah Montana ended. The record marked a new chapter for Cyrus that shed her Disney-era innocence, showing a more mature and adult version of the singer that was the complete opposite of the person people knew her as on Disney Channel. And yes, that period of her career included the famous VMA performance involving Robin Thicke and twerking.

Miley Cyrus has since come into her own as a singer, releasing multiple albums and truly finding herself. Cyrus is definitely more confident about her image now than she was after Hannah Montana ended, but it seems as though there will always be a place in her heart, and in storage, for the series that jump-started her international fame.

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