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There’s no denying that Miley Cyrus has evolved as an artist. The once child star of Disney’s hit show, “Hannah Montana” later turned heads at the 2013 MTV VMA Awards when she suggestively twerked alongside Robin Thicke.

Now, at age 24, the Tennessee-born singer knows exactly who she is. Her latest transformation finds her taking back her roots with her latest singles, “Malibu” and “Inspired,” from her upcoming as-yet-untitled album, due out later this year.

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After nearly 12 years in the music industry, Miley says she finally feels like she’s earned the respect she’s been looking for.

“I feel like I proved what I wanted to do,” she explained during a recent interview with British talk show “Lorraine‘s” host Ross King. “I feel like I have respect, and I feel like my charity, Happy Hippie, has given me that. I [also] feel like I have the respect as an artist that I want. So, it’s less that I have to prove myself, and that gives me a lot of contentment.”

Although she’s grown out of the teenage stages of her life, Miley says she’s always been an open book with her fans, adding that none of the outrageous outfits she wore was ever a joke, but rather a form of expression.

“I think that makes me have more freedom in my music, because I feel like I can really just be myself, and my fans are so accepting of me,” she said. “But it’s just hard for people that are looking out from the outside inside my life all the time and going through every little thing.”

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Miley, of course, isn’t the only singer in the family. She’s also daughter to Billy Ray Cyrus, and sister to Noah Cyrus. She hopes to be a role model and inspiration to her 17-year-old sibling, who is still finding her way musically.

“When you’re making music at 16- or 17-years-old, you’re just trying to find yourself as a person,” Miley explained. “I started doing these shows when I was 12-years-old. So, I really got to learn. But people are so into my life that I think people really felt that they knew me, which also gave people this ‘ownership’ over me too. They wanted to keep me the same.”

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