Miley Cyrus voted worst celebrity influence of 2009

Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:32am EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Miley Cyrus, one of Disney's hottest stars of the past three years with hit records and hit films, has been voted the worst celebrity influence of 2009 by the very people who made her a star, tweens and teens, according to an online poll on Wednesday.

Cyrus, 16, took 42 percent of votes in the poll for AOL's (Just So You Know) website aimed at 9-15 year-olds, pushing Britney Spears and rapper Kanye West into second and third places, respectively, in a section on worst celebrity influences of the year.

No reasons were given for the poor showing of the singer-actress and the popular star of Disney Channel's "Hannah Montana" television series.

But the ranking follows a year which has seen Cyrus controversially dating a 20 year-old model, making "slant eyes" in an informal snapshot criticized as mocking Asians, and being accused of pole-dancing on a teen awards show.

Cyrus also came in No. 4 in the category of favorite female artist, behind 19-year-old country sensation Taylor Swift, "I Kissed a Girl" singer Katy Perry and R&B star Beyonce. The poll attracted almost 50,000 votes.

"I think Miley is in an interesting space where she is trying to graduate from being 'Hannah Montana' and a Disney channel celebrity and coming into her own and having a career beyond Disney," said Stephanie Cohen, editor of

"I think her fans still want her to be the sweet Hannah Montana and she is trying to age up...Parents are definitely resisting it," Cohen told Reuters.

Cyrus has been one of the biggest teen idols in the world since 2006, selling more than 7 million albums, starting her own fashion line, and taking $154 million at the worldwide box-office for "Hannah Montana: The Movie" in 2009.   Continued...

<p>Miley Cyrus arrives at the 81st Academy Awards in Hollywood, February 22, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>