With her new film sitting high atop the US box office, Miley Cyrus has emerged as Hollywood's newest superstar, a fresh-faced icon almost as innocent and popular as the Obama family's new puppy.
For those who remain uninitiated in the workings of the American entertainment system, Cyrus is the 16-year-old daughter of country music star Billy Ray Cyrus, with whom she stars in Hanna Montana, one of the most successful TV shows ever screened by the Disney Channel.
Her already exalted status as the role model for North America's tween girls took off into the stratosphere last weekend when Hanna Montana: The Movie earned $34 million at US cinemas - almost double its pre-release estimates.
In the movie and the show she stars as your typical teenage schoolgirl who also happens to have a secret life as one of the greatest rock stars on the planet. The shenanigans she has to go through to preserve her down-to-earth identity provide the dramatic drive of the series, even as her rock-star lifestyle provides all the glamour, stardom and fashion-conscious dreams that a girl could wish for.
If that sounds confusing consider Cyrus' real life situation. At an age when most girls are still worrying about that unsightly zit on their cheek, Cyrus has had a string of massive pop hits and is dating a 20-year-old underwear model who she says has really brought her closer to God. She even has a scandalously steamy photo shoot in her history - when Annie Leibowitz photographed her nude last year for Vanity Fair.
Cyrus, who strikes her grown-up observers as unbelievably mature, if not intolerably precocious, seems to be taking the stardom in her stride. Then again, many said the same things about other child stars, like Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan, who have since fallen very publicly from the tracks.
Cyrus has the advantage in that she grew up in a showbiz family, spending her early years in the country music mecca of Nashville, Tennessee. She also has a happy disposition. She earned her nickname Miley as a toddler because she was always smiling.
She seems to have lost none of that bouncy enthusiasm, despite the not inconsiderable challenges of being a teenage girl in the glare of the paparazzi.
"Omgomg! my fans rock!," she noted breathlessly this weekend on Twitter, using the ubiquitous teenage shorthand for Oh my God. "The movie is doing great you guys! omg AND its all cause of you!!!! I LOVE U ALL! IF YOU HAVENT SEEN IT YET CHECK IT!"
Then again, the missive could also have been written by a hired PR hack, using the same deft touch that is guiding Cyrus' career to ever greater accomplishments. Next year she will tackle her first drama, "The Last Song", penned by noted novelist Nicholas Sparks, in which she plays a rebellious young woman forced to spend the summer with her estranged father.