Miley Cyrus’ ‘Movement’ Started With These 6 Moments

We look back on her MTV milestones from 2008 to 2013 before 'Miley: The Movement,' airing tonight at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Miley Cyrus has always been herself, but on Wednesday (October 2), during the MTV documentary, “Miley: The Movement” fans are going to see first-hand, how, in just a few short months, she evolved into one of the biggest pop stars in the world.

Long before she was twerking, rapping and shocking fans everywhere, Cyrus was finding herself. And with each year that passed, it brought her closer to figuring out which artist she wanted to become. MTV has been there every step of the way.

In celebration of her documentary airing at 10 p.m. ET/PT, we took a look back at some of Miley’s most memorable MTV moments leading up to the movement.

2008: Miley Hangs With Katy Perry And Taylor Swift At VMAs
At the 2013 Video Music Awards, Cyrus was up for four Moonmen for her hit “We Can’t Stop.” Back in 2008, she earned her first nomination for Best New Artist for her single, “7 Things,” off her #1 debut album, Breakout. However, hanging with her new pals on the red carpet got people talking. She walked around with fellow Best New Artist nominees Katy Perry (they arrived together) and Taylor Swift.

“It’s my first time to be nominated so I’m so excited,” Cyrus had told us. “And I’m just stoked to arrive with Katy and everyone hanging out I’m just so excited to be here.”

So which one of the ladies took home the award? Actually none of them; the 2008 VMA for Best New Artist went to Tokio Hotel.

2009: Miley Ready To Get Edgy, Not Country
Cyrus had been portraying her Hannah Montana alter-ego for three years in 2009. While the movie based on the TV series topped the box office the week of release, she knew that she was ready for “edgier” roles [shortly after she filmed "The Last Song" with Liam Hemsworth]. As far as her music went, she was still figuring things out.

“Maybe one day,” Cyrus told MTV News about recording country music. “I’ll leave that to the pros, but I don’t know what I want to do.”

A few months later, she released “Party in the U.S.A,” which peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

2010: Miley Can’t Be Tamed
Many may have marked the first time they saw the “We Can’t Stop” video as the moment they knew Miley’s Hannah Montana days were long gone, but in all actuality, she’s been leaving her bubblegum persona behind for quite some time. In 2010, she took over the House of Blues in Los Angeles for an MTV live stream concert where she performed songs off her third album, Can’t Be Tamed, showing Smilers just how far she had come since her debut album.

“I’m a completely different person,” Cyrus said to MTV News’ Sway Calloway. “I’m so much more confident, I’ve always been a confident person. I was going through a lot then I was younger, I didn’t really know myself and there are so many people telling you who you should and shouldn’t be and that’s what Tamed is about. It’s about being who you are to the full and now I know who that is.”

2012: Miley Teases ‘Biggest Record’
Miley took a step back from music in 2011, but reappeared at the 2012 Video Music Awards pre-show, sporting not only her new engagement ring, but her blonde-pixie cut and revealed she was putting wedding plans aside to make her fourth album the best yet.

“I’m so focused on my record right now that I don’t really have time for anything else. I feel married enough; we don’t need a paper to tell us that,” she said. “Right now I’m focusing so hard on this record and once this record is the biggest record I’ve ever had, then I’ll do the wedding planning.”

2013: Miley Promises ‘Iconic’ VMA Performance
Miley dominated headlines for the majority of the year, but no one could have foreseen the media storm that would come out of her Video Music Awards performance… except, Miley.

Two days before her VMA debut, she spoke to MTV News backstage about how she was going to make this performance something we would talk about for years to come.

“I think there are going to be so many elements. I think this could be a crazy, just iconic thing only because of everything we’ve put in to it,” Cyrus said. “It’s just my video times 1,000 and that is something that I feel is set in the time for kids and how we are feeling and how I’m feeling about life.”

2013: Miley’s VMA Performance: ‘That’s Just Me’
Cyrus lived up to her promise of giving fans a crazy performance of “We Can’t Stop” and accomplished her goal to get people talking, which they did, and still are, weeks later.

“What’s amazing is I think now, we’re three days later and people are still talking about it. They’re over-thinking it,” she said in her first post-VMA interview. “You’re thinking about it more than I thought about it when I did it. Like, I didn’t even think about it ’cause that’s just me.”

Use the hashtag #MileyTheMovement on Instagram or Vine to share your thoughts on the upcoming doc! “Miley: The Movement” premieres Wednesday, October 2 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.

Christina Garibaldi has been an on-camera reporter for MTV News since 2011. When not interviewing or writing about her favorite stars, she keeps herself busy with baby animal videos and boy bands.