ORLANDO, Fla. --Miley Cyrus finally stuck her head out of that deep hole Disney had put her in this week--meaning six more weeks of world wide publicity.
The 15-year-old Hannah Montana star, who has been at the centre of a controversy ever since her arty Vanity Fair photo shoot surfaced last week, joined several other Disney Channel headliners for a concert Saturday night at the Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World.
An estimated 15,000 fans, some from as far away as Ontario and a suprisingly large number under the age of six, jammed the retro ballpark for the concert.
Besides Cyrus, new pop darlings The Jonas Brothers performed, as did Disney Channel stars the Cheetah Girls and Demi Lovato, a winning Texan who co-stars with heartthrob Joe Jonas in the made in Ontario movie “Camp Rock." Seen as the next "High School Musical," the summer fun movie premieres June 20 on Disney Channel as well as on The Family Channel in Canada.
Cyrus closed her set by alluding to her recent troubles. She pointed out the words on a home made sign one of her fans had brought to the concert: “Miley, I am praying for you!”
“Thank you, I couldn’t be more appreciative,” said Cyrus. “I love you and God bless you, each and every one of you.”
It was her one and only comment on the media storm surrounding the fallout from the notorious photo shoot. Cyrus ditched a scheduled Friday press conference this week at Walt Disney World and was whisked in and out of the Saturday concert. There were reports that her mother was spotted backstage at rehearsal Saturday, but there was no sign of her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, who co-stars on Hannah Montana and who joined Miley in one or two of the odd and arty Leibowitz snaps.
Cyrus sang three songs, two for the first time in public from her upcoming CD which drops July 22. Wearing a pure white dress, she opened with her hit “One World” and had every five, six, seven and eight-year-old in the house singing right along with her. She got physical on the next tune, “Fly On The Wall,” a Britney Spears-type number with talky then wailing vocals. Cyrus whipped off her red jacket and white fedora half way through the song; Disney execs breathed a sigh of relief when there was no wardrobe malfunction.
“Fly” had an edgy, rock vibe to it which might have surprised the many fans in the house who should have been in bed already. The concert, part of a “Disney Games” TV special, was marred by frequent stops and starts and a burst of rain. Many of the stoppages were due to fans who pressed the stage; they were told several times to back off or the show would be shut down for safety reasons. Where are the Hells Angels when you need them?
The down time seemed to work okay for the many vendors in the stadium who were selling Miley CDs, T-shirts, temporary tattoos and other gear along with a pile of merchandise for the Jonas brothers, who drew Beatlemania-level screams every time one or more of them took the stage or their names were even mentioned.