Miley Cyrus – singer, performer, twerker, headline maker extraordinaire – turns 21 today. That’s right, the lady tabloids have loved to hate (and love) for so long now is just now reaching legal adulthood. This puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?

Miley Cyrus, Bambi 2013 Awards
At 21, Miley has a thriving career and a bright future.

The pop star celebrated with MTV, with an 8-hour Miley themed special. The music network “turned over the keys to MTV” to Cyrus today. Her birthday celebration will include the premiere of the special “21 Candles: Miley’s MTV Moments,” a look back on, you guessed it, Miss Cyrus’ best MTV moments. "21 Candles" premieres at 12 p.m. ET/PT and will be followed by the extended cut of the documentary “Miley: The Movement.”

Miley Cyrus, BBC Radio 1
Her rise to fame hasn't been without its pitfalls.

With Miley’s diverse career and her having grown up in the spotlight, it’s easy to forget that she is only 21. The singer has been engaged – the Liam Hemsworth relationship may be in the past, but it is likely to generate tabloid fodder for some time to come – created albums and toured with Disney as Hannah Montana and given her image a complete overhaul that started with a simple bleach blonde pixie cut and ended up landing her in hot water for controversial, overly sexualized performances. She’s had five number 1 albums (more than most) and been chastised for openly smoking weed (most recently onstage at the EMAs) and even, every so often, praised for taking her career into her own hands. She’s twerked on Robin Thicke and shot with Terry Richardson, but she’s also shown some incredible insight into the tricky world of fame. She’s performed and hosted Saturday Night Live, successfully if we may add. She’s richer than me, you and most people in the world (the girl made the Forbes 100 list three whole years ago.) Most importantly, through transformations, blunders and criticism, Cyrus is still here and going strong. And for that, Miley, we salute you. Happy 21st!