Miley: From Baby to Sweet 16!

Celebrate with personal photos of the birthday girl from every year – starting with her first birthday party

01 of 16

1993

1993
Courtesy Miley Cyrus

Born in Nashville, Tenn., Destiny Hope Cyrus had her first birthday party on Nov. 23. Her proud parents, dad Billy Ray and mom Tish, joined her in the happy celebration.

02 of 16

1994

1994
Courtesy Miley Cyrus

The family spent Miley's early years on their 500-acre farm in Nashville, where Billy Ray lived as a "recluse" following his success as a country singer. "All I wanted to do was be with my family," the singer, who took Miley on horseback and ATV adventures as a child, told PEOPLE. "We played our hearts out."

03 of 16

1995

1995
Courtesy Miley Cyrus

Scribbling in her coloring book, Miley showed early signs of creativity. These days the Hannah Montana star is a triple threat, likely to post a YouTube video with her pal Mandy Jiroux, create a concert tour scrapbook with her backup dancers or write a hit song.

04 of 16

1996

1996
Courtesy Miley Cyrus

Like any farm girl, Miley – in boots and a cowboy hat – was around animals growing up, including horses, which she likes to ride with her dad. Although her family now lives in California, Miley went back home recently for the filming of the upcoming Hannah Montana movie. "I feel safe in Tennessee," she tells PEOPLE.

05 of 16

1997

1997
Courtesy Miley Cyrus

She's a poser! Even at age 5, Miley was at ease in front of the camera. Little did she know that eventually she'd become a paparazzi magnet and would have to steer clear of movie theaters and amusement parks because the mob scenes "get pretty crazy," she says.

06 of 16

1998

1998
Courtesy Miley Cyrus

Her dog Pawnie was Miley's best pal when she was 6 – but today she's got even more furry (and feathered!) friends, including Yorkies Shooter and Roadie, a golden Lab mix named Fluke, her German shepherd Tex, a rabbit named Jack, a horse named Memphis and a lovebird named Zazu.

07 of 16

1999

1999
Courtesy Miley Cyrus

She's got spirit! Though she was only 7 in this picture, Miley was a "hard-core cheerleader" at Heritage Middle School, which she attended until the sixth grade. "I definitely miss it," she has said of her days at public school.

08 of 16

2000

2000
Courtesy Miley Cyrus

Destiny Hope, who reportedly got her name because her parents believed she would do great things, smiled so much as a kid that her parents started calling her Smiley. That, of course, was eventually shortened to Miley. The star filed papers in March 2008 to make the change legal.

09 of 16

2001

2001
Courtesy Miley Cyrus

Miley's first acting gig came in 2001, when she appeared in an episode of Doc, a medical drama starring her dad Billy Ray as a small-town doctor from Montana who takes a job at a clinic in New York City. She later appeared in another episode and Tim Burton's 2003 film Big Fish.

10 of 16

2002

2002
Courtesy Miley Cyrus

Tish may be Miley's mom and manager, but both roles ultimately have the same goal. "Everything is about keeping her grounded," she says. "She knows that if there was any time I felt like things were getting to be too much, we would just not do it."

11 of 16

2003

2003
Courtesy Miley Cyrus

Miley's grandfather, whom she affectionately calls "Pappy," made a lasting impression on the young star before he passed away in 2006. The teen star and her family created the Pappy Cyrus Family Foundation in his name, which benefits a number of charities that help underprivileged children.

12 of 16

2004

2004
Courtesy Miley Cyrus

Miley first auditioned for the role of Miley Stewart and her alter ego Hannah Montana when she was 12. Though Disney execs initially thought she was too young for the role, she ultimately got the job, which moved the Cyrus family to their current home base in Los Angeles. "The right opportunity came at the right time," dad Billy Ray told PEOPLE.

13 of 16

2005

2005
Courtesy Miley Cyrus

With music in her DNA, it was only a matter of time before Miley picked up a microphone like she did at Nashville's Fan Fair. In 2006, the first Hannah Montana soundtrack was released and featured songs that Miley performed as the fictional pop star. Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus followed with songs that Miley performed as herself.

14 of 16

2006

2006
Meredith Jenks

She's a daddy's girl. "We're really close," Miley says of her dad Billy Ray, who costars with her on Hannah Montana. "I feel like I can tell my dad anything. When we come home, we forget that we even work together and just hang out."

15 of 16

2007

2007
Clark Samuels/Startraks

Miley's 15th birthday party was a surprise '80s-themed bash, with pizza, a marbled cake, dancing and famous guests like Taylor Swift. It was the perfect way to kick off a big year for the star, who wrapped up a sold-out concert tour, released Breakout (her first album independent of the Hannah Montana franchise) and voiced the role of Penny in the animated movie Bolt.

16 of 16

2008

2008
George Shepherd/AdMedia

Accompanied by her model beau Justin Gaston, Miley attended the Country Music Awards just weeks before her sweet 16. Although she already got a puppy when she celebrated earlier at Disney World, the teen is still hoping for something else. "I want a car," she tells PEOPLE. "I don't want to name a certain kind. I want my parents to know that I'm happy with anything they get me."

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