Who Was More Successful: Miley Cyrus or Hannah Montana?

Miley Cyrus’ image is now so different from Hannah Montana’s, however, Cyrus still has some fond memories of her Disney Channel days. She said one part of the Hannah Montana experience stands out from most of her post-Hannah career — how she connected to fans. Here’s a look at whether her claim holds up to scrutiny.

Hannah Montana with her fried Lily and a man
Miley Cyrus and Emily Osment | Vivian Zink/Disney Channel via Getty Images

What Miley Cyrus has been ‘missing’ since ‘Hannah Montana’

According to Billboard, Cyrus told Zane Lowe how she was feeling in March 2020. “This is the most at peace and fulfilled that I’ve been in the last few years,” she said during the interview. “I think I miss the safety of being able to be around my family… but besides actually like what do I miss of the outside world, of going to the studio or whatever, I don’t really miss that, because connecting with my fans every day is something that I really have been missing probably since Hannah Montana.”

“The thing I loved about Hannah Montana was once a week, I would connect, and there would always be a message, and that was at a time where you couldn’t do this live, like how you and I are communicating now,” Cyrus said. “Even you and I just having this chat feels less alone, and I just, I feel like I connected more with the outside world inside than I did on the outside.”

“The Best of Both Worlds”

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Did Miley Cyrus have more hits during her Disney Channel years or afterward?

Cyrus’ claim she was connecting well to fans during the Hannah Montana years is interesting. Does it hold up to careful scrutiny? We can see how Cyrus’ work was performing commercially at the time to get a sense of how fans connected to her.

Hannah Montana’s run lasted from 2006 to 2011. During this time, Cyrus had six top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100: “See You Again,” “Can’t Be Tamed,” “7 Things,” “He Could Be the One,” and “Party in the U.S.A.,” and “The Climb.” Of these songs, the one which charted the highest was the Americana pop-rock anthem “Party in the U.S.A.,” which hit No. 2.

Cyrus would beat her personal record by releasing a No. 1 hit — “Wrecking Ball” — years after Hannah Montana’s cancellation. However, “Wrecking Ball,” “Malibu,” and “We Can’t Stop” are her only three top 10 hits from her post-Hannah years.

“Wrecking Ball”

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Hannah Montana — queen of the album charts

What about the album charts? While Hanna Montana was on the air, Cyrus released a staggering nine top 10 albums on the Billboard 200. Six of these albums were directly related to Hanna Montana. The Hannah-themed albums were Hannah Montana, Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus, Hannah Montana 2: Non-Stop Dance Party, Hannah Montana 3, Hannah Montana: The Movie, and Best of Both Worlds Concert. The others were The Time of Our Lives, Breakout, and Can’t Be Tamed.

Since leaving the role of Hannah, only three of Cyrus’ albums hit the top 10: Bangerz, Younger Now, and She Is Coming. Clearly, Cyrus was resonating more with listeners when she was playing Hannah.