10/08/2013 08:48 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Miley Cyrus Releases 'BANGERZ' After Months Of (Naked) Anticipation


Miley Cyrus' transformation from her parent-friendly, "pretty cool" Hannah Montana days to her current scantily clad, rapping, twerking self is solidified with the official release of her fourth studio album, "BANGERZ."

Cyrus' road to the release of "BANGERZ" began in June when she dropped her hit single "We Can't Stop." The months since have been full of the 20-year-old singer's headline-making antics, performances, and music videos. Take a look at Cyrus' 29 steps to the release of "BANGERZ" below.

1. Cyrus debuts "We Can't Stop," the first single off of her "BANGERZ" album. The song, which premiered on Ryan Seacrest's radio show, teases a more grown-up, boundary-pushing sound from Cyrus.

2. Cyrus shocks viewers with the release of her "We Can't Stop" music video, which features the singer's famed twerking, a wild pool party, and a makeout scene with a doll.

3. After claiming that the lyric of her "We Can't Stop" single had her singing "dancing with Miley," Cyrus fessed up and admitted that the controversial lyric was, in fact, "dancing with molly," referencing the colloquial term for MDMA.

"It depends who's doing what. If you're aged ten [the lyric is] Miley, if you know what I'm talking about then you know. I just wanted it to be played on the radio and they've already had to edit it so much. I don't think people have a hard time understanding that I've grown up. You can Google me and you know what I'm up to -- you know what that lyric is saying."

4. Cyrus stars in the music video to Big Sean's single "Fire," dancing in a skimpy outfit.

5. Cyrus speaks out on her Disney past and her former squeaky-clean "Hannah Montana" image, distancing herself from her TV career in an interview.

"I don’t think I’ve ever had to exorcise Hannah because I think people knew I was different from her in real life. Most people on Disney act as if they are really like their characters but I never felt the need to do that. I never pretended I was as good as what Disney writes. They try to make someone not grow up but you can’t do that to real, normal people. If I’m doing something I’m going to do it right but then once I’m away from it I’ll do it my way."

6. After showing more interest in a hip-hop sound and image, Cyrus took to Twitter to address critics who were allegedly judging her for her race.

7. Cyrus announces that her fourth studio album will hit stores on October 8, speaking about her inspiration for the album's title.

"I had no preconceived ideas [with] this record. The album revealed its name about eight songs in when I realized we got [nothing] but bangerz. All [you] gotta do is listen to my record once and you'll know exactly why my record is called 'BANGERZ.'"

8. Ahead of her performance at the VMAs, Cyrus released the album artwork to "BANGERZ" and the second single off of the project, "Wrecking Ball."
miley cyrus wrecking ball

9. Cyrus performs at the MTV's Video Music Awards with Robin Thicke in a mashup of his hit song "Blurred Lines" and her "We Can't Stop." The headline-making performance featured Cyrus twerking in a barely there nude outfit, rubbing up on her backup dancers, and getting surprisingly dirty with a foam finger. The backlash was immediate, with Cyrus becoming the subject of criticism from everyone from the Parents Television Council to Mika Brzezinski of "Morning Joe," to the maker of the foam finger who said Cyrus degraded the product.
10. Following the controversy made by her VMA performance, Cyrus addresses the show, saying that critics were over-thinking it and that she simply wanted to make history.

11. The music video to Cyrus' second single "Wrecking Ball" premieres, showing Cyrus breaking down crying and riding naked on a wrecking ball.

12. Cyrus appears on German TV in a performance of "We Can't Stop" which includes her spanking dwarves.

13. After weeks of rumors, Cyrus' producer Mike WiLL Made-It confirms that after her performance at the VMAs, Cyrus went to a recording studio to record a remix to Kanye West's single "Black Skinhead" off of his recent "Yeezus" album.

14. Cyrus becomes the subject of ridicule from big names such as P!nk and Cher who speak out against the 20-year-old singer's actions.

P!nk: "She's really freaking talented; she's beautiful. She can sing her ass off and to go up there and do that? She's cheating herself and she's cheating the rest of us... She can do what she wants. People can like it if they want. I'm not going to buy it. She can do better. I've seen her do better."
Cher: "I'm not old-fashioned. She could have come out naked, and if she'd just rocked the house, I would have said, 'You go, girl.' It just wasn't done well. She can't dance, her body looked like hell, the song wasn't great, one cheek was hanging out. And, chick, don't stick out your tongue if it's coated."

15. Cyrus earns her first No. 1 single as "Wrecking Ball" tops the charts.

16. Cyrus releases multiple album covers for "BANGERZ," one of which shows her topless with her arms crossed, covering her breasts.
miley cyrus naked

17. Terry Richardson's director's cut of "Wrecking Ball" makes its debut, focusing on Cyrus' crying face.

18. Cyrus performs "Wrecking Ball" and "We Can't Stop" at the iHeartRadio music festival in Las Vegas, turning heads with her boundary-pushing outfit.
miley cyrus iheartradio

19. Cyrus reveals that she wrote a breakup song about the end of her relationship with ex-fiancé Liam Hemsworth called "Drive" to be featured on "BANGERZ."

“I wrote it while I was working on Valentine’s Day — emotionally it was such a hard time. It is about needing to leave someone but not really wanting to completely cut yourself off from the relationship. It’s a time when you want to leave but you can’t. It’s also about moving on.”

20. The producer of Cyrus' album, Mike WiLL Made-It drops the music video to his single "23," which features a scantily clad Cyrus rapping.

21. In anticipation of the release of "BANGERZ," Cyrus covers "Rolling Stone" and gets a tattoo on her feet of the publication's title.

22. Cyrus' collaboration with Britney Spears, "SMS (Bangerz)," leaks ahead of its official release.

23. Cyrus' transformation is detailed in a special on MTV called "Miley: The Movement," which focuses on her VMA performance and the recording of her latest album.

24. Months after the VMAs, Thicke comments on his performance with Cyrus, saying it was simply to entertain people and "make them talk."
miley cyrus robin thicke

25. After her wild antics and revealing she was inspired by Sinead O'Connor, Cyrus is criticized in an open letter from O'Connor who urged her to stop banking on her sex appeal.

"I am extremely concerned for you that those around you have led you to believe, or encouraged you in your own belief, that it is in any way ‘cool’ to be naked and licking sledgehammers in your videos. It is in fact the case that you will obscure your talent by allowing yourself to be pimped, whether its the music business or yourself doing the pimping. Nothing but harm will come in the long run, from allowing yourself to be exploited, and it is absolutely NOT in ANY way an empowerment of yourself or any other young women, for you to send across the message that you are to be valued (even by you) more for your sexual appeal than your obvious talent."

26. Cyrus strips down for Terry Richardson, the director of her "Wrecking Ball" video.
miley cyrus terry richardson

27. Cyrus brings her twerking to "Saturday Night Live" where she serves as the host and the musical guest for the episode. She even does her best Michele Bachmann, dressing as the politician for a new take on her "We Can't Stop" music video.

28. Cyrus appeared on "The Today Show" the day before her album's official release, taking a quick break from hyping the project to speak to Matt Lauer about his sex life.

29. Cyrus officially drops "BANGERZ," within hours the album hits No. 1 on iTunes.