Is Miley Cyrus the Next Kurt Cobain? A Movieline Investigation of Billy Ray Cyrus' Worst Fear
It may seem ridiculous to compare a Disney-made teenage pop star to a legendary grunge artist remembered just as much for his impressive song catalog as his tragic suicide, but that is a parallel that Miley's father, Billy Ray Cyrus, drew freely in a recent interview with GQ. "I'm concerned about Miley," Cyrus told the magazine. "I think that [Kurt Cobain's] world was just spinning so fast and he had so many people around him that didn't help him." Was the concerned father onto something -- especially considering Miley's recent fall from grace and experimentation with drugs? Movieline investigates the surprising similarities between the star's respective situations ahead.
Disney Connection in Youth
Kurt Cobain: The Aberdeen-born singer-songwriter spent his childhood drawing his favorite cartoon characters including Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse and Pluto.
Miley Cyrus: From the age of 12, the Nashville-born pop singer spent four seasons establishing a cartoonish version of herself as the
screechy, spunky, titular teen performer on Hannah Montana.
Children of Divorce
Kurt Cobain: The Nirvana frontman told interviewers that his parents' divorce -- which happened when Cobain was 8 years-old -- had a profound effect on his life.
Miley Cyrus: Miley's parents filed for divorce shortly before her eighteenth birthday amidst rumors of infidelity.
Speedy Ascent to Fame
Kurt Cobain: It is well-documented that the musician had trouble reconciling the success of Nirvana's first big album Nevermind after developing as an underground artist, and was not sure how to deal with his new fame or the growing number of handlers and managers around him.
Miley Cyrus: In 2008, Forbes estimated that the 15-year-old artist's franchise was worth $1 billion. Billy Ray told GQ that the fame and fortune that Hannah Montana brought his daughter so quickly has destroyed his family so much so that he wishes she was never cast in the Disney series.
Chronic Health Conditions
Kurt Cobain: As his career picked up, Cobain complained of an undiagnosed stomach condition. He would later explain his drug usage as a form of self-medicating.
Miley Cyrus: The star suffers from tachycardia, a mild heart condition that is described as being potentially bothersome.
Kurt Cobain: In addition to navigating his newfound fame, Cobain dealt with the stress of the title "voice of a generation" that was continually heaped on his band by the press.
Miley Cyrus: After Hannah Montana, the parents of Miley's fans heaped criticism on the star for abandoning her Disney image because she was still expected to be a role model for their young children.
Kurt Cobain: Drug addiction. Suicide attempt. Domestic disputes with his wife Courtney Love. Custody battle over his newborn daughter. Provocative photos taken with guns.
Miley Cyrus: Lap dances. Bong smoking. Music video pole dances. Provocative photos taken topless with her father.
Forays Into Film
Kurt Cobain: Although he never had the chance to cross over into film himself, Cobain was the subject of Gus van Sant's Last Days. Courtney Love is reportedly still trying to adapt Cobain's biography Heavier Than Heaven, written by Charles R. Cross, for the big screen.
Miley Cyrus: Big Fish, Bolt, The Last Song and the upcoming film LOL -- where she plays a troubled teenager -- with Demi Moore.
From the looks of things, Billy Ray Cyrus doesn't have that much to worry about just yet. Though perhaps taking a more active interest in his daughter's life would be best for both parties. Just sayin'.