On today's installment of nostalgic childhood anniversaries that will make us feel very old, pop star, actress, and notable mullet wearer, Miley Cyrus, penned a heartfelt letter to her breakthrough TV character, pop star, actress, and notable non-mullet wearer, Hannah Montana in honor of the eponymous Disney Channel sitcom's premiere 15 years ago.
“Hi Hannah, It’s been a while," the “Plastic Hearts” artist wrote in a handwritten note on pink, monogrammed Hannah Montana paper photographed and posted to Twitter. “15 years to be exact. Since the first time I slid those blonde bangs over my forehead in the best attempt to conceal my identity. Then slipped into a puke pink terry cloth robe with a bedazzled HM over the [heart]. I didn't know then, but that's where you'd live forever.”
After detailing the impact her blonde poppy doppelganger had in captivating “millions of people around the world," the singer shared that despite popular misconception, the character was not exactly an alter-ego, sometimes encompassing more of her true identity than she seemingly did as Miley Cyrus.
“Although you are considered to be an 'alter-ego' in reality there was a time in my life when you held more of my identity in your glove than I did in my bare hands.” the star explained. “We had an equal exchange in which you provided me with a superlative amount of fame in return to the anonymity I could gift to you. But, a lot has changed since then. You were a rocket that flew me to the moon and never brought me back down. I couldn't have imagined when taping myself singing 'I Love Rock n' Roll' against a white wall in my mom's friend's kitchen on the front of a first draft script would make my wildest dreams a reality. You and I have been through it all, my friend. We've shared many firsts. a lot of lasts. Ups. Downs. Tears + Laughs," Cyrus continued.
One obstacle Cyrus and her character faced? Grappling with the passing of Cyrus's grandfather shortly before the show's March 2006 debut. “I lost my Pappy, my dad’s father, while on set filming an early episode of Season 1," the actress shared. "He wanted to hold on long enough to catch the premiere on March 24th. He passed February 28th. He did get to see the commercial that ran during High School Musical which he claimed was one of the proudest moments in his lifetime + he was a badass democratic state legislature. My heart was broken but fulfilled to know I could carry his name beside my dad’s through every credit.”
Alongside the loss, Miley says Hannah Montana helped her through the trials and tribulations of teenage-hood, including first loves, first periods, and building close friendships. “I gained so many friends over the 6 years spent on set. Emily Osment, Mitchel Musso + Jason Earles became my family. I was seeing them more than my own,” she said of her co-stars, who appeared on the show until its 2011 finale.
“Hannah, I hope you hear me + believe those words are true,” Cyrus continued. “You have all my love and upmost gratitude. Breathing life into you for those 6 years was an honor. I am indebted not only to you Hannah but to any and everyone who believed in me from the beginning. You all have my loyalty + deepest appreciation til the end.”
The singer then ended the letter with a special message for Hannah Montana's cast and crew. “With all sincerity I say THANK YOU! To Disney’s entire team, all fellow cast members, special guests, crew, agents + managers, ESPECIALLY my mommy who took me to every lesson and audition even when it required leaving town or making a cross country move which with my siblings so selflessly underwent. Not a day goes by I forget where I came from. A building in Burbank, California with a room full of people with the power to fulfill my destiny. And that they did. They gave me you. The greatest gift a girl could ask for. I love you Hannah Montana.”
So folks, even a decade and a half out from its preliminary episode, Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus are as tight as ever – a fact only strengthened by the fact that they're the same person. To quote Miss Montana herself, “She's a truuuu-uuuuuuue friend!”