Miley Cyrus lived the best of both worlds as Hannah Montana for six years when the teen sitcom ran on Disney Channel, and 15 years later, she’s saying thank you to her alter ego.
The 28-year-old pop superstar penned a handwritten letter on Wednesday’s (March 24) 15th anniversary of Hannah Montana, recalling the show’s very first and last episodes and cherishing all the memories that happened in between, on a star-adorned sheet of pink paper with a sparkly purple border that hearkened back to the show’s aesthetic.
“Hi Hannah, It’s been a while. 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],” Cyrus writes, describing the first scene of the pilot episode, which aired on Disney Channel on March 24, 2006. “I didn’t know then … that is where you would live forever. Not just in mine but millions of people around the world.”
The show opened to the highest ratings in the channel’s history, with 5.4 million viewers. Despite the show’s premise of a Malibu teenager named Miley Stewart living a double life as a student by day and pop star by night, Cyrus wrote that Hannah served as more than her alter-ego, and she once even considered her to hold “more of my identity in your glovette than I did in my bare hands. We had an equal exchange in which you provided a superlative amount of fame in return for the anonymity I could gift to you.”
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She ends the letter by recalling the very last episode of Hannah Montana (the fourth and final season was specifically dubbed Hannah Montana Forever), which was named after the song she sang during the Jan. 16, 2011-dated episode “Wherever I Go.”
“The final episode was appropriately titled ‘Wherever I Go’ after a song by the teen pop sensation herself. YOU. Me? Hannah Montana,” the letter continues on its second page. “The first verse sings ‘Everything is about to change. A chapter ending but the stories only just begun. A page is turning for everyone.’ And closes on a soaring chorus belting ‘We might be apart but I hope you always know you’ll be with me wherever I go.’ Hannah, I hope you hear me + believe those words are true. You have all my love + upmost gratitude. Breathing life into you for those 6 years was an honor.”
And sweet niblets, Hannah sure heard her. The official Twitter account for the fictional-but-oh-so-real pop star shot back a sarcastic reply to Cyrus: “Nice to hear from you @MileyCyrus. It’s only been a decade.”
Hannah Montana has 20 Billboard Hot 100 songs to her own name, including the top 10 hit “He Could Be the One.” She also scored three No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 — Hannah Montana, Hannah Montana 2 / Meet Miley Cyrus and Hannah Montana: The Movie. And her 2007 Best of Both Worlds Tour earned Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus the breakthrough artist award at the 2008 Billboard Touring Awards, beating out the Jonas Brothers and Michael Bublé.
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Steve Vincent, Disney Channel’s vp of music and soundtracks, reflected to Billboard in an oral history of the show’s musical impact that Cyrus herself had successfully become “one of the biggest pop stars in the world” apart from the one she was playing on TV by the time the series had ended a decade ago. “She had, in some ways, made it come true, from the fictional pop star to the real pop star,” he said.
But Cyrus didn’t just send Hannah something sweet for the show’s 15th anniversary: She also sent Joe Jonas — who, along with the Jonas Brothers, guest-starred on an episode and performed “We Got the Party” with her — a purple, pink and yellow floral arrangement in the shape of a star, Hannah’s signature motif, and a note that read, “It was so sweet of you to name your daughter after me! Sending all my love to little Miss Hannah Montana!”