There is a popular saying that equates taste with marmite, a sticky brown food spread that is widely used in Australasia, the Pacific and beyond. Because it has such a distinctive taste, it is known to polarize opinion – you either love it or hate it. Well the same could well be said about the young American pop singer, Miley Cyrus. Her increasingly provocative stage antics have certainly got tongues wagging and excitable fingers tweeting right across the planet.
Nowhere has taste been so divided than Indonesia. While many Indonesians have taken to social media to decry her attention-seeking outbursts, not to mention her formulaic pop singing, there are obviously droves of fans out there who can see beyond her shameless publicity stunts. After all, her most recent single, Wrecking Ball, has soared up the Indonesian Singles Charts.
Awards and Achievements
She can now be seen as one of the most successful artists who began their careers with the Disney Channel. Amongst her plaudits she has had no fewer than five consecutive number one albums in the US Billboard 100 (two being soundtracks to the series where she played the titular teenage character Hannah Montana). She recently ranked number 13 on Forbes Celebrity 100 – the annual compilation of most powerful celebrities, based on several factors, including total Google hits. The 2011 Guinness Book of Records named her ‘Most Charted Teenager', with 29 Billboard Hot 100 entries. MTV named her ‘Artist of the Year' in 2013.
Has often proved to be very difficult making the transition from child star to adult entertainer. But Miley Cyrus has managed to pull this off with some headline-grabbing stage performances. There is nothing new about overtly sexual acts being used to entertain audiences and, more importantly, sell records (check out Madonna!) But where Miley has really made an impact is in employing the modern phenomenon of viral advertising. Put it this way, until fairly recently, very few people were aware of the definition of the strange sounding verb ‘twerking'. Perhaps more than anyone else, Miley has been responsible for this word entering lexicography right across the globe.
This term basically covers any type of dance that is designed to provoke with a series of thrusting hip movements. It has been suggested that the word itself is a combination of twist and jerk, originating in New Orleans street-dancing. But the craze really hit the public eye when Miley Cyrus ‘twerked' while performing with Robin Thicke at the 2013 MTV awards. Images of her gyrating on-stage were beamed to television viewers across the globe, and then tweeted and re-tweeted ad infinitum on Twitter, and discussed and debated in blogs and forums right across the information super highway.
One of the reasons why Miley has been going to such lengths to get noticed is undoubtedly a desire to put distance between herself and the sweet, wholesome, Southern-accented Hannah Montana, the archetypal Disney star. But at the end of the day, the Indonesians who have been downloading ‘Wrecking Ball' by the thousands haven't been doing so because of some daft dance craze. It is because Miley does sing some very catchy pop songs. Like them or hate them, you'll find yourself humming her songs on your way to work in the morning!