Many know Noah Cyrus as Miley Cyrus’ little sister or the daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus, but she’s much more than that. She’s a singer, songwriter, and actress who’s beginning to make her mark in the music industry. This year, she’s been nominated for Best New Artist at the 2021 Grammy Awards alongside Chika, Megan Thee Stallion, and Doja Cat. But, while Noah is (finally) getting the attention she deserves, her music isn’t exactly new.
The rising star has been surrounded by music all her life as one of the six children in the multi-talented Cyrus family. So, it’s no surprise that she followed in her father and sister’s footsteps by releasing her debut single Make Me (Cry) in 2016, according to IMDb. Since then, she’s released numerous singles, one even featuring the vocals XXXTENTACION, per PopBuzz.
No one can deny that Noah is a talented artist that’s distinguishing herself in the industry as a force to be reckoned with. But, other than being an up-and-coming singer, what else do we know about her? Here are some things you’ll be surprised to learn.
Noah has been acting since she was 2 years old
Not only is Noah Cyrus a talented singer, but she’s an actress too. Similar to her big sister, Cyrus began her journey into the entertainment industry by becoming a child actress. According to IMDb, the star began acting at age two by playing Gracie Herbert on the sixth episode of Doc.
Her early acting career continued with small roles including the television show Hannah Montana, even being a background dancer on Hannah Montana: The Movie.
Cyrus’ biggest break came with the English version of the 2008 film Ponyo where she voiced the titular character and provided vocals to the theme song with Frankie Jonas, according to IMDb. Since then, however, Noah’s acting career has been slow with little to no roles cast.
However, per Seventeen, she ran her own web show with friend Emily Grace Reaves after Ponyo. The show titled The Noie and Ems Show ran from 2009 to 2010.
Noah has been an activist since she was a teenager
Before she made a name for herself in the music industry, Noah Cyrus was known in philanthropic circles as an activist, The Famous People reports. In 2015, Noah teamed up with PETA to appear in an advertisement advocating against high school animal dissections, per Entertainment Tonight. She spoke about the benefits of virtual animal dissections, saying, “You’ll learn so much more off of the computer. If you have the other option, why not take it? You should ask your teacher for other human [sic] alternatives.”
Two years later, she teamed up with PETA again for an anti-SeaWorld campaign. This time, per Billboard, she submerged herself in a tank of water to advocate against the suffering of orcas at Seaworld. When speaking to the outlet about the campaign, Cyrus explained, “We want Sea World to do the right thing and release the orcas to a sanctuary. I love animals so much. To think that any animal would be trapped makes me so sad.”
Not only does Cyrus advocate for animal rights, but she also fights for mental health awareness. People revealed that she teamed up with Ad Council for the Seize the Awkward, two non-profit organizations fighting to end mental health and suicide stigma.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness Helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.
Noah is open about her mental health struggles
Most of Noah Cyrus’ music details her anxiety and insecurities, Billboard reveals. One song “fuckyounoah” openly references her anxiety and self-doubt in the lyrics, “No one f–ks with me / ‘Cause no one ever f–king loves a b—h.”
This is not the first time that the star has been open about her mental health. In an Instagram post celebrating the two-year anniversary of her debut EP Good Cry, she revealed that she didn’t think she was going to live to her 21st birthday.
“At 18 i didn’t think i was going to be here for a 20th birthday soon to be 21. they felt 1000 years away. it seems impossible… i was so sad. so hurt. and so scared,” she wrote. “thank you to everyone that’s been by my side during all of my progression and the times where it felt like i was regressing.”
Cyrus also spoke to James Corden on The Late Late Show in 2019 about her mental health and how she has struggled with anxiety and depression since she was 10 or 11 years old. “One of the things that I’ve always wanted is to use this platform to talk about my mental health and help young adults all around America and everywhere in the world know that they’re not alone,” she said.
Noah struggled being in her sister's shadow
When speaking with The Recording Academy in early March 2021, Noah Cyrus said she wasn’t sure if she wanted to be in the spotlight because of her sister, Miley Cyrus. This is not the first time Noah has detailed the struggle of growing up in Miley’s and her father’s shadow.
In 2020, Noah spoke about being in Miley’s shadow in an Instagram live. Per Harper’s Bazaar, she revealed how her living with a famous family made her feel insecure about her talent. “Being born in the family I was in, everybody gave me such a hard time for having a hard time being Miley’s little sister,” she explained. “But I always felt like I was that person that no one gave a s–t about due to what people said to me online.”
Her struggle with navigating her identity as a singer, according to the outlet, is detailed in her song “Young and Sad.”
“My sister’s like sunshine / Always bringing good light wherever she’ll go,” she sings. “And I was born to rain clouds / Blessed in her shadows.”
Noah elaborates on the lyrics, explaining, “That was something that I heard my whole life, every single day, my whole life. And it was either that or that I wasn’t enough in some way, whether it was the way I look or the way I am.”
Noah's idol inspired her to pursue music
In 2015, Noah Cyrus waited 12 hours in line to be at the front of Ben Howard’s crowd at the Shrine Auditorium, according to Billboard. Once she saw his performance, the singer was inspired to pursue music. “I wanted people to connect to me on that level where I can write about anything, but it would still make someone feel a certain way,” she said.
Cyrus later spoke to Rolling Stone and revealed how Howard’s 2014 album I Forget When We Were inspired her to write songs and get into music professionally. “I just started getting this drive to want to write and sing and start my own album,” she said.
And, while Howard pushed her towards the music industry, other music inspirations such as Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Lady Gaga, and Joanne influenced her singles and EP’s, according to Teen Vogue.
Regardless of who inspired her, Cyrus isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Her music has only started touching the hearts of her fans. Whenever her feelings arise, you can expect a single to come too. As she said to The Recording Academy, “Whenever I love, I love so hard,” she said. “Whenever I hurt, I hurt so deep. Whenever I feel, it feels so strong. I’ve just leveled up mentally and feel so much stronger personally.”
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