Miley Cyrus doesn't need to look at the music charts to know that her songs are making a connection with the fans _ all she has to do is update her Twitter page.
"I'm stoked that people have been so supportive," she says of her latest project, the EP "The Time of Our Lives. "On my Twitter, (I get) so many replies like 'This song inspires me' and 'This inspires me.' ... One of the reasons why I love that site is being able to see what people are saying about the record."
Of course, having a best-selling record is good reassurance too _ and Miley getting plenty of it these days. The EP is near the top of the charts and her song "The Climb" has been No. 1 on Billboard's adult contemporary chart for weeks.
It's just another example of the maturing career of the 16-year-old Miley. While she's still known to millions as the star of the Disney phenomenon "Hannah Montana," she's not just a teen queen anymore. VH1 crowned her as one of their "Divas," she's in an upcoming movie playing a defiant teen and she's calling the shots on her "Wonder World" tour.
Miley recently talked to The Associated Press about her new show, growing up and what being a diva means to her.
AP: Describe the new album "The Time of Our Lives."
Miley: It is a transitioning album. ... Everything is like a stepping stone. And that was really to introduce people to what I want my next record to sound like and with time I will be able to do that a little more and timing is just everything. So it is really about us working our way up to being able to do the music you really love.
AP: A lot of your music you write yourself. Do you ever write a song and go, "Oh my God, wait, that is too personal, I don't want to put that out?"
Miley: Yes, sometimes I write songs just to write them. I have written thousands of songs that are just for me. I will even play them for my friends, and they will say, 'Will that be on your next record?" and I'll say, "No, that was just for me. That was just for my peace of mind." And I think that is important to do that. Not always writing a song and be like, "Oh, that is going to be on a record." If it sounds great and it is something that you think goes along with the album that you are putting together, that is awesome. If not, then it's cool. It doesn't matter."
AP: What would you say is the most diva like thing about you?
Miley: This tour is the most diva thing. Because when I got here, it was like, "OK, we are not messing around, this thing is going to be like full out. We are going to get everything, it's going to continue to blow peoples minds." And everyone was like, "Alright Miley is stepping it up." And I was like, "Yeah, it is my tour." The first time I was actually going out, no "Hannah Montana," none of that. Just my own style.
AP: You are going to be in the film "The Last Song," out next spring. Is it a departure from your "Hannah" character?
Miley: I really do get to do a little bit of everything. It is not like getting away from it at all, it is just showing more of a side that I want to show. I love doing "Hannah Montana," but I want to continue doing things that are a little bit more darker roles. That is kind of who I am and where I find most of my inspiration in movies like that.
AP: Now that you are getting older, there is more talk of you possibly retiring the "Hannah Montana" character.
Miley: I thought about retiring when I was like 15. Just kidding. I would have retired like twelve years ago.
AP: When that day does come, obviously it will be very sad, but will it also a little bit of a relief?
Miley: I want to continue to do everything I can. My dad always says, "If you ain't having fun, it ain't working." And so when I stop having fun, I'll just quit everything altogether. But, I'm having fun. ... I think I will forever do that, if I have the people that I'm around still around me. They make me happy, and the people that I work with I really love. ... I will be able to tour the rest of my life if I am having fun.
AP: You have mentioned that you have made a few mistakes. What would you say was your biggest and what was the most exaggerated one?
Miley: I think everything I do is exaggerated a lot. I think that no matter what, I think it is all about respect. People forget that when you are in the public eye, people forget you still have to respect people and you still have to (respect) their privacy. And also respect my family and trust the fact that my parents are raising me just like everyone else is raising their kids. They are doing it the way they want to. It is not for the media or for any one else to judge how they should or should not raise me.