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 JSYK.com (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 JSYK.com.
“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.
West, whose interruption of Swift’s acceptance speech at a music award show in September was deemed the most shocking moment of 2009, took 19 percent of votes in the worst celebrity influence section.
Swift, the best-selling U.S. artist of 2008, has risen again in popularity this year.
“I think Taylor Swift has done a great job of showing her true self and coming across as very sweet and down to earth. A lot of her songs are about the underdog and teens can really relate to her,” said Cohen.
Elsewhere, the stars of vampire movies “Twilight” and its forthcoming sequel “New Moon” dominated the JSYK.com poll. Kristen Stewart was voted favorite female movie actress and Taylor Lautner surged past Robert Pattinson in both the favorite male movie star and “cool guy you’d like to hang out with” categories.
Full results can be found at www.jsyk.com
Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte