One of the most memorable moments from Hannah Montana: The Movie is at the end when Miley Stewart (Miley Cyrus) sings The Climb. The country-pop ballad tugged at viewers’ heartstrings when the movie came out in April 2009, and to this day, remains relevant in pop culture. Did Miley Cyrus write The Climb? Read on to find out.
[Spoiler alert: The following article contains spoilers for Hannah Montana: The Movie.]
What happened during ‘The Climb’ in ‘Hannah Montana: The Movie’
In Hannah Montana: The Movie, Miley starts acting like a pop diva, so her dad, Robby Ray Stewart (Billy Ray Cyrus), sends her to her grandma’s in Tennessee to ground herself. Throughout the movie, Miley remembers her upbringing and how she got to where she is and became Hannah Montana, the pop star.
She increasingly is faced with struggles as she wants to return to her high-profile Hollywood life. Miley has to balance her family, friends, and career, all while keeping the huge secret of her true identity. In the end, she realizes it’s not worth it anymore to live a double life. At least not to her hometown in Tennessee.
In a shocking moment, Miley takes off her Hannah wig and shows her hometown that she is Hannah Montana. She sings a song as Miley Stewart, not Hannah Montana. And that song is The Climb.
Did Miley Cyrus write ‘The Climb’?
While Cyrus’ voice and Hannah Montana: The Movie propelled the song to spend 32 weeks on the Billboard Chart, the Disney star did not in fact write it.
Jessi Alexander and Jon Mabe are the co-writers of The Climb.
The two writers spoke with Tennessean in 2016 about the origins of the massive song from the Disney movie.
“I just remember that particular morning, I didn’t have an idea,” Alexander revealed. “I had nothing. You get so distracted in the car.” Alexander was driving to a writing session with Mabe. She asked God to send her an idea.
“It was really simple,” she said of the initial recording she made. “I would love to find that original tape, but it wasn’t much. It was just the chorus’ kind of climbing melody…the word that kept coming to me was maybe ‘classic.'”
Alexander continued: “By that point, I’m just trying to get in the door and to a guitar because a song can come and go real quick. My immediate thought was ‘get your hands on a guitar.'”
Mabe added that Alexander was on a “mission when she came through that door” for their session.
The co-writers said that the song started from a third-person perspective, but later shifted. The Hannah Montana: The Movie director Peter Chelsom said he would “rewrite the script” to include The Climb if Alexander and Mabe rewrote it.
“That’s where you have to believe in something more than the Nashville song gods,” Alexander continued. “There’s something else that, for whatever reason, we got to have this. I feel so grateful because if that hadn’t happened for me, I don’t know if I’d still be working as a songwriter.”
‘The Climb’ has lived on well past the original movie’s release
While Hannah Montana: The Movie came out in 2009, The Climb has lived on long after that. Cyrus went on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon in October 2017 to sing a more adult version of the song. She also sang it in 2018 at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C., showing support to victims of the Parkland attack.
Many people feel a close connection with the song.
Pop singer Shawn Mendes posted a TikTok on Dec. 18, 2020 showing him and his girlfriend Camila Cabello singing the hit song.
While Cyrus did not write The Climb, it will continue to serve as an inspirational and nostalgic song for many.