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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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  • Disney star Miley Cyrus turns 18

    Nov. 21: Miley Cyrus at the American Music Awards (AP)

    After years of coming under fire for inappropriate behavior for a child, pop star Miley Cyrus turns 18 today.

    The former “Disney Channel” star celebrated turning legal by heading out to a Hollywood club with some celebrity pals and her mom Sunday.

    At the American Music Awards, Cyrus told Access Hollywood that she was thrilled to be going out dancing with her mom Tish, who is going through a divorce with husband Billy Ray Cyrus.

    SLIDESHOW: Miley Cyrus Through the Years

    “I’m going out dancing later – we rented out a space so all my friends can come,” Cyrus said. “Me and my mom actually have choreography for the night later – everyone loves when we dance in unison … so it’s going to be good.”

    But true-to-form, Cyrus couldn’t turn 18 without a little scandal to boot. According to a report from the New York Post, the “Can’t Be Tamed” singer is said to be up in arms over some raunchy photos of her making out with fellow teen star Avan Jogia.

    Wearing a black bra and tight pants, Cyrus can be seen in an embrace with the actor, who is nuzzling her neck.

    Click here to see the photos from TMZ.

    A source tells The Post, “only her closest friends were there, so there have been questions asked about how these pictures got out. She’s telling people it looks a lot more intense than it actually was.”

    These days, the teen singer is rarely seen performing in pants and has earned harsh criticism for overly sexy music videos. But the “Hannah Montana” star is hardly a stranger to controversy.

    SLIDESHOW: Teenage Miley Made Teenage Britney Look Tame

    When she was just 15, she famously posed topless for a Vanity Fair magazine photo shoot by Annie Leibowitz. While she only showed her back , she later apologized for the photos, saying, “I took part in a photo shoot that was supposed to be ‘artistic’ and now, seeing the photographs and reading the story, I feel so embarrassed.”

    From there, it seemed wherever she went, scandal followed. As her popularity skyrocketed, Cyrus was accused of mocking fellow Disney starlet Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez in a viral video, posing in a racially insensitive photograph (she claimed she was simply making “ a goofy face”) and even danced on a pole at the Teen Choice Awards.

    The star’s love life has been a subject for tabloid fodder as well; she dated Nick Jonas, then 20-year-old model Justin Gaston and later, “The Last Song” co-star Liam Hemsworth.

    And it’s likely Miley isn’t the only one happy she is finally legal. This year, controversial blogger Perez Hilton was accused of distributing child pornography after he posted an “up the skirt” photo of Cyrus on set, where she appeared not to be wearing underwear. Hilton later said he only linked to the photo, and insisted she was indeed wearing underwear in the photo.

    But as scandal began to overshadow her career, Cyrus’ popularity has taken a hit, as fans failed to embrace her sexy new image on “Can’t Be Tamed” and her second single, “Who Owns My Heart,” which features a video of Cyrus writhing around on a bed.

    Now, as Cyrus trades in criticisms of being too sexy too young for the right to vote and buy tobacco, it will be interesting to see what the future holds for the young star.

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