Miley Cyrus may have come in like a wrecking ball, but her foundation is rock solid.
The singer, who turns 26, today, has grown up in front of our eyes ever since starring in the Disney Channel’s Hannah Montana, a role she auditioned for when she was just 11. Since then, we’ve seen her pose for a “controversial” Vanity Fair photoshoot, smoke a blunt at an awards show, and go through more phases than
But lately, Miley’s phase seems to be happily in love, as she and fiancé Liam Hemsworth, 28, are more solid than ever after almost 10 years of ups and downs…including a broken engagement, cheating rumors and a natural disaster.
Through the ups and downs, Miley and Liam have surprisingly become one of Hollywood’s most enduring couples, defying the odds as they’ve both grown up, apart and together as the world watched.
It was basically love at first sight for the couple when the met on the set of their 2010 movie The Last Song, when Miley was just 16. And while they broke up a few times, they announced their engagement in 2012, when she was 19.
At the time, the teen bride-to-be told People, “I’m so happy to be engaged and look forward to a life of happiness with Liam.” The Aussie actor popped the question with a stunning 3.5-carat diamond ring from jeweler Neil Lane.
But one year later, rumors of a split surfaced after reports of Liam possibly being unfaithful (which his rep denied) and Miley unfollowing him on social media.
And in September 2013, the engagement was officially off, with a source telling E! News that the split was “Miley’s decision, after coming to grips with Liam being what she believed was less than faithful to her.”
Following the break-up, Miley focused on her music, with the former Disney Channel darling’s daring new image for her fourth studio album, Bangerz, courting controversy. Remember her now-infamous performance at the MTV Video Music Awards, during which she twerked in Robin Thicke‘s crotch?
Bangerz became a smash hit, with MTV and Miley’s tour performances and antics getting even wilder.
“People have made me seem like a character. So now I’m just enjoying playing a character of myself. People’s mouths drop when I dance, but my friends are like, ‘You dance like that in the kitchen!’ I’m always pretty much joking,” she explained in an interview with Elle at the time. “In the show, I do this really horrible wave, like the Queen. It’s so dumb, because everyone waves back at me like that! It’s almost like abusing the fact that I’m a little bit of a trendsetter.”
And the biggest hit from Bangerz, “Wrecking Ball,” was apparently about her ex. While Miley never officially confirmed he was the inspiration, an expletive-filled rant she delivered at London’s G.A.Y. club in May 2014 was pretty telling.
“… and every time you get in your car, you’re going to hear my f–king song on the f–king radio, you piece of s–t. That’s right. And then I’m gonna take all my clothes off, I’m gonna sit on a big, giant d–k—sometimes two—I’m gonna swing around, and then I’m gonna hold the record for the most-watched music video on Vevo. So then—you know, you can tell a lot about a person—I think you can tell how big their d–k is by how much confidence they have usually, and if I was a dude I’d probably have a really big d–k, ‘cause I feel really good about myself now. So I’m gonna tell those motherf–kers that broke my heart, particularly one, to suck my fat d–k and to enjoy hearing this song for the rest of your life. This song is called ‘Wrecking Ball’.”
She was also exploring her romantic options after the end of her four-year romance with The Hunger Games star. “This is the best time of my life. I’m not going to look back on it and be like, ‘I wish I hadn’t been dwelling over a breakup,’ you know?”she old Cosmopolitan in 2013. “Because that’s not what God wants my life to be about right now.”
She dated Patrick Schwarzenegger for six months. She entered into some sort of romantic relationship with model Stella Maxwell, though she never confirmed it. She revealed she was pansexual. She talked about smoking weed. A lot.
She was just bein’ Miley.
But by late 2015, Miley and Liam were spotted together, just as interviews with both young stars raised eyebrows.
“You fall in love with who you fall in love with; you can never choose. I guess some people just come with a little more baggage,” Liam told Men’s Fitness just a few months before they were first spotted together again after their two-year break. “I mean, look—we were together five years, so I don’t think those feelings will ever change. And that’s good because that proves to me that it was real. It wasn’t just a fling.”
As for Miley, she opened up to Elle U.K. around the same time, admitting, “Me and Liam are still so close and we love each other.”
And by January 2016, the couple was officially back together…with Miley joining Liam and the Hemsworth clan for a vacation in Australia, even getting matching tattoos with Elsa Pataky, Chris Hemsworth‘s wife.
Still, fans wondered if the engagement was back on when Miley was spotted wearing a ring on that finger, but the 23-year-old stayed mum….that is until October, when she confirmed the happy news to Ellen DeGeneres.
Two years after their reconciliation, Miley looked back on their time apart.
“I needed to change so much. And changing with someone else not changing like that is too hard,” she said of the time apart in a 2017 Billboard interview. “Suddenly you’re like, ‘I don’t recognize you anymore.’ We had to re-fall for each other.”
And Miley revealed in a Cosmopolitan interview that same year that the main lesson she learned from her parents Billy Ray Cyrus and Tish Cyrus‘ marriage, which has included several separations since they wed in 1993, is to expect your partner to change and to embrace their evolution.
“One thing I’ve learned about marriage from my parents: Nothing and no one stays the same,” Miley told the outlet. “Grow, evolve, change with each other and celebrate your love’s journey!”
And Miley admitted on the SiriusXM show Hits 1 in Hollywood that she had some growing up to do and that both she and Liam needed the time apart to make them stronger together
“People that break up and get back together, I think that’s awesome because you know it’s true,” she explained. “But also you get time to be yourself. You get time to grow up.”
She continued, “I think if you’re growing up attached to another person, you never really get solid as your own being. I’m really solid and he gets to be really solid. Together we get to be two really grounded people. It’s not a half and a half making a whole.”
Liam was also on the same page when it came to reflecting on their time apart, telling GQ in 2016, “At the time we were going in different directions and it’s just what needed to happen. We were both super young and it was a good decision at the time—we both needed that.”
And since their reconciliation in 2016, Miley and Liam have become one of Hollywood’s most solid couples, actually causing split rumors with how private they are. To shut down those pesky reports, the couple posted an adorable video dancing in their car. While their contemporaries are getting engaged and married in less than a summer (Hi, Justin and Hailey!) or engaged only to split months later (Thank u next, Ariana and Pete!), Miley and Liam are seem more in love than ever…almost a decade after meeting.
Earlier this year, a source told us Miley and Liam “are truly in a great place right now,” adding, they “have just been trying to be more private about their relationship.”
And it’s true; they rarely make red carpet appearances together and stay pretty mum about their relationship in interviews, save for adorable birthday messages and holiday celebrations on their social media accounts.
That being said, it hasn’t stopped Liam from starting his new hobby: scaring the crap out of his future wife and posting the videos for the world to enjoy just as much as he does.
For now, the couple is in no rush to walk down the aisle, with a source telling E! News that “wedding planning has been a continuous conversation over the years but they have not locked in any set plans.”
The insider continued, “Their family would love for them to finally tie the knot, and are very excited about it, but no one is pushing them. Miley is very simplistic when it comes to her ideas and does not want things to be an ordeal. Both Miley and Liam want to have children and they both want to be married but aren’t trying to rush the process.”
It’s something Miley expressed in an interview with The Sun in 2017, admitting, “Three years ago, if you’d asked me if I’d be here, this happy with this man, I’d have been stunned. I’m just riding this out. In some relationships, you lose yourself by being with someone else. Actually, it made me find myself more. I have no idea what the next three years will bring, but if it’s possible to get even happier, I’ll take it.”
Sadly, tragedy struck in the first year of the “next three years” Miley referred to.
While Miley was out of town, she and Liam unfortunately lost their $2.5 million four-bedroom home to the California Wildfires that devastated Malibu and other areas in Southern California earlier this month. Liam spoke out after surveying the damage firsthand.
“It’s been a heartbreaking few days. This is what’s left of my house. Love,” he shared on social media. “Many people in Malibu and surrounding areas in California have lost their homes also and my heart goes out to everyone who was affected by these fires.”
Miley also updated fans, saying, “I am one of the lucky ones. My animals and LOVE OF MY LIFE made it out safely and that’s all that matters right now. My house no longer stands but the memories shared with family and friends stand strong. I am grateful for all I have left. Sending so much love and gratitude to the firefighters and L.A. County Sheriff’s department!”
And after losing their home, the couple donated $500,000 to the relief efforts.
“Their community and state are very special to them and they want to give back to the place that has created so many beautiful memories for themselves and others,” their rep said in a statement provided to E! News. “They are donating $500,000 dollars to The Malibu Foundation through Miley’s charity, Happy Hippie in hopes to restore Malibu’s magic.”
The funds will be “used for those in financial need, emergency relief assistance, community rebuilding, wildfire prevention and climate change resilience,” their rep added.
And after almost a decade of ups and downs, Miley and Liam know about resilience.
People wishing to do the same can visit the LAFD Foundation website or donate to these companies mentioned by Miley and Liam: Airbnb, the California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund, the California Fire Foundation, Direct Relief, the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Fire Relief Fund, the Red Cross and the United Way’s Disaster Relief Fund.