Happy 18th Birthday, Miley Cyrus!

Throw your hands up extra high and smile a little brighter if you see Miley Cyrus today, as the teenage music, film and television superstar is celebrating her birthday. Cyrus is only 18 years old, but she has crammed an awful lot of life, career and influence into those years.

After getting bit by the acting bug at a young age, Cyrus doggedly pursued the title role on the Disney Channel series “Hannah Montana.” Though the producers were wary of her age and size, they were impressed by her raw talent and her tenacity, and they rewarded her with the role when she was only 12 years old. “Hannah Montana” premiered in 2006 and became in instant hit, skyrocketing Cyrus to instant teen idol status. The show, which centered around a young music star who attempts to live a double life as a normal teenage girl, allowed Cyrus to not only show off her comedic skills and her acting chops but also her abilities as a performer of music. Cyrus has a natural charisma that came across easily and made her a hero to the millions of kids who made “Hannah Montana” into a hit.

Her television career fed naturally into her role as a music star. Through three solo albums — 2007′s Meet Miley Cyrus, 2008′s Breakout and the recently-released Can’t Be Tamed — she has evolved as a pop singer who is able to bring in elements of straight pop, country music, rock, electronic dance sounds and whatever else makes her feel good. Her biggest hit, 2009′s “Party in the U.S.A.,” brought together all those elements for a brilliant pop stew that, not surprisingly, became Cyrus’ biggest hit so far.

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What would you get Miley Cyrus for her birthday? Let us know in the comments!