In August, when Miley Cyrus performed at the MTV Video Music Awards, her performance made headlines for being taking basic-cable raunch to a new level. But, Cyrus as reveals in the documentary Miley: The Movement, premiering on MTV on Oct. 2, she was continuing a kind of tradition. In fact, it was another VMA performance that inspired her.
Ten years ago, in 2003, when Britney Spears and Madonna locked lips during a VMAs performance, a 10-year-old Miley Cyrus was watching—and she was already a huge Britney spears fan. (Yes, Christina Aguilera was involved too, but Cyrus cites Spears’ influence specifically.)
The Spears influence doesn’t stop there: Cyrus says that the first album she ever bought was one from Britney Spears, and that she’ll be a “die-hard fan for always.” In 2001, when “I’m a Slave 4 U” came out, Cyrus recalls, her father’s reaction to her love of the video was “Oh no, my daughter’s going to turn into a stripper.”
And now it’s come full circle: Spears is featured on a track on Cyrus’ upcoming album Bangerz (out Oct. 8). The MTV documentary features a look at Spears and Cyrus in the studio—complete with Cyrus telling Spears that she was a fan as a kid (less insulting than you might think, since Spears is more than a decade older) and talking about her plans for the upcoming VMAs (which earns a bewildered smile-and-nod from Spears). So there you have it: the music that made Miley Cyrus who she is today.
(Fans looking for non-musical Cyrus insight, however, shouldn’t hold their breaths: ex-fiancé Liam Hemsworth is not discussed in the film. When asked at a press event for the film, MTV executive VP Dave Sirulnick would not say whether or not Cyrus got approval over the content of the film, merely that she was “a full partner” and that Hemsworth’s exclusion was due to a desire to focus on music.)
(MORE: Meet Miley’s Stylist)