Miley Cyrus returned to the music scene this week with the release of her brand new single, Midnight Sky. Not only that, but she unveiled a self-directed, colour-infused music video that's sure to go down as one of her most memorable, paying tribute to some of the greatest female music icons of all time, such as Joan Jett and Debbie Harry.

It's hard to look back at the adventures of Hannah Montana (which premiered in 2006) and the Disney-approved slices of pop heaven that Miley released 'back in the day', and correlate those with what she has done for the past few years. Artistic evolution is a very real thing, and it's something that she perhaps more than anybody of our generation has been through on a grand scale.

If there's one thing Miley has proved throughout her career to-date, it's that she's not just your generic bubblegum popstar, but a fully-fledged artist who isn't afraid to experiment with her style and sound. Today, she seems utterly at peace and unafraid to do whatever she likes. It's up to Miley herself to say whether this has always been the case, but from an outsider's point of view, she's more comfortable than ever before.

As somebody who has lived the majority of her life in front of the spotlight, Miley has often fallen victim to a malicious press who simply want to sell papers, magazines and push those browsing the web into clicking their links. You only have to google "Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth" to come across some misleading articles that paint her out to be a real-life Disney villain. Still, she's not one to complain, and instead lets her talent do the talking.

Wrecking Ball was without a doubt THE turning point for Miley. We'd already 'met' the person behind the Disney character with 2007 album Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus, but it was still a very protected image. Perhaps the first real glimpse of who she wanted to be was unleashed with 2010's brilliant Can't Be Tamed.

Though Miley battled against misogynistic and bigoted attacks from all angles upon Wrecking Ball's release, just three years later, she changed the conception of her image forevermore; and undoubtedly for the better. Nowadays, it's something she feels is going to always haunt her, and has admitted that if she could go back and do it again, she'd drop the naked swinging around on a wrecking ball in the music video.

Even though she suffers with that modern-day regret, Miley still must realise that Wrecking Ball was the point at which the creatives of the industry started to take notice more than ever before. It opened up doors that have seen her able to experiment with her sound and style more than most female artists - and I stress female because men still get to do whatever the hell they want in the business without question, unlike their female counterparts.

Remember 2015's Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz? Sheer genius.

There are plenty of us who realise the impact Miley continues to have, but she deserves more.. She's treading the way for female artists of the future and for that, she must be celebrated. If we fail to do so now, those who look back on history in the decades to come will wonder exactly why we didn't treat her with the respect she deserves.

RELATED: Miley Cyrus and Dua Lipa tease upcoming duet


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