Miley Cyrus is reflecting on the lasting impact of Hannah Montana.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone, the 28-year-old “Midnight Sky” singer — who was just 13 at the start of the Disney Channel show — opened up about some of the surprising ways the show has touched the lives of others, including a number of queer artists.
“I had to evolve because Hannah was larger than life, larger than me. I felt like I was never going to amount to the success of Hannah Montana. That’s how Lil Nas X actually knew of my dad. He grew up watching Hannah Montana and said, ‘I want to do a song with Robby Ray,’ ” she explained, referencing the character her father played on the show. “That’s literally what happened. Being a young queer kid’s idol that could turn out to be a Lil Nas X and create a whole identity for themselves off being inspired from watching me growing up.”
“Or I hear artists like Troye Sivan say he felt more comfortable with his sexuality when I came out with ‘My Heart Beats for Love,’” she added, referencing her song off her 2010 album Can’t Be Tamed.
Although Cyrus hasn’t always looked back fondly on her star-making role, she’s learned to embrace it.
“When my peers are having these experiences and accepting themselves because of something that I demonstrated while they were a kid, that’s when I go, ‘S—, I f—ing am Hannah Montana,” she continued.
“Really, Hannah Montana was not a character,” she added. “The concept of the show, it’s me. I’ve had to really come to terms with that and not be third-person about it.”
Earlier this year Cyrus even revealed that she would be open to reprising the role in the future.
“You know what honestly, I try to put that wig on all the time,” she said back in August, when asked about a potential reboot. “She’s just in storage collecting dust and I’m ready to whip her out … The opportunity will present itself.”
“I definitely would like to resurrect her at some point. She needs a big makeover because she’s kinda stuck in 2008, so we’ll need to go shopping with Miss Montana,” the Grammy-nominated singer continued. “But that’s sometime in the future and hopefully I’m directing it.”