She was the richest teenager in Hollywood she was picked from 5,000 youngsters to star in Disney's TV hit Hannah Montana.
Now at 20, Miley Cyrus, who's getting rave revues for her new comedy thriller So Undercover,is seriously thinking about giving it all up — and getting married.
The lucky man is Australian actor Liam Hemsworth, who was her co-star in the 2009 movie The Last Song and whom Miley described as "My first and last serious boyfriend."
But the course of true love has hardly been without its problems. The couple split after a year, made it up after a month, parted again last November and are now reunited once more.
They've just got engaged — Miley has a $200,000 ring to prove it — and hope to marry next year.
"The fact that they can't seem to live without each other must be a good sign," says a friend. "At the moment Miley is regarding being with Liam as more important than having a show-business career. Whether she'll continue to feel that way remains to be seen."
In So Undercover, Miley plays a private investigator who is approached by the FBI to go undercover at a university and catch a dangerous crook.
"It was good fun but right now I have more personal things on my mind!" is how Miley puts it.
In fact the last thing country singer Billy Ray Cyrus wanted for his little daughter was a show-biz career." She insisted on going to those auditions and she was rejected because she was too small.
"She'd burst into tears and I'd hold her hand and tell her: 'Just enjoy being a kid. Don't mess up your childhood with all this heartache'."
But little Destiny Hope Cyrus didn't listen. Which is perhaps just as well. Ten years later,she has already sold over $3 billion worth of merchandise to become one of the most successful commercial brands on the planet.
Miley was 13 when she got the lead role in the Hannah Montana TV series after initially being turned down because she was "too small and too young".
"Disney had been looking for someone to play the title role for two years," Miley remembers. "I just knew I could do it and I wasn't going to give up this time."
No-one expected the simple tale of a plain high school student, by day Miley Stewart, who is secretly transformed by night into the world's most successful pop star, Hannah Montana, to become the biggest Disney money-spinner for a decade, but it did.
Last year Miley earned $25 million and is expected to more than double that this year.
Says Billy Ray Cyrus: "Miley's appeal is due to her charisma and winning personality and her audience can easily identify with her and her problems.
"I loved doing the Montana TV and movies but it's time I did other things as well," Miley says. But not surprisingly she has a soft spot for The Last Song — which was how she met Liam.
"It was a very deep role and very dark," she says. The only problem was that Miley is very petite — and Liam towered above her in the romantic scenes.
"The only solution was to dig a hole and stand him in it," laughs Miley. "It was very difficult to keep a straight face in all those tender scenes!"
Her mother and father — Billy Ray had a massive hit 20 years ago with Achy Breaky Heart — are determined that their megastar daughter will have as normal life as possible on their 500 acre farm near Nashville.
"Everything is about keeping Miley grounded," Billy Ray says. "We don't want her to go off the rails.
So her parents weren't best pleased when they found that Miley had become friends with Hollywood wildchild Lindsay Lohan and the pair have been seen doing the rounds of late-night parties. "We had a quiet word with Miley," says Billy Ray. "Thankfully, since she's been with Liam, she seems to have calmed down a lot." (Tony James Features)