It's easy to see why Miley Cyrus is idolised by millions of teenagers.
The Hannah Montana star, daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, is the face of the famous Disney franchise and has scored three consecutive No 1 albums in the past three years. Not to mention record-shattering tour and box office sales and a best-selling biography in the US - and she's only 16.
"Life is short and I want to get as much done and do as much as possible," the ambitious teenager says.
"I don't want to become the person that's been on the cover of a bunch of magazines saying 'Ever since I was little, I've loved fashion', or 'I've always been girly'. I want my quote to be 'I'm going to make history'."
The Nashville-born entertainer is well on the way to doing just that. She was ranked one of the world's most influential people in 2008 - the same year she officially changed her name from Destiny Hope to her childhood nickname Miley, referring to her smiley nature.
"I think it's definitely crazy and I don't necessarily feel like Mother Teresa so I don't know why people want to hear what I have to say," she says.
"I'm not full of great advice or whatever but I feel like people are inspired because they don't see me as someone who's unapproachable and someone that you can't be like. Even though I have an interesting job and lead an interesting life, I think people can still relate to me."
Miley's illustrious career began at eight when she appeared in US TV series Doc alongside her dad, followed by a bit part in Tim Burton's Big Fish. She won the part of Miley Stewart and her alter ego Hannah Montana after years of re-auditioning.
"It's become bigger than I ever imagined," she says of the award-winning show.
"It's kinda cool, but at times it's very strange going into a store and seeing people buy your face. But I think the most important thing is that's not what I want to do forever. I don't want to make movies so I can be on a T-shirt. I'll be happy when I'm known for something else."
Hannah Montana: The Movie sees Miley return to her Tennessee roots with her dad, Robby Ray (Billy Ray). Their on-screen relationship mirrors their real-life closeness.
"I've learnt a lot about patience, respect and kindness from him," she says.
"I'm one of these people that always has to have the last word and never want to be wrong, and always find ways to make myself right, and my dad's one of these people who just walks away. My dad's the coolest."
Take away the glamour and the adoring fans and Miley is like any other angst-ridden teenager. Her "diva" requests include Frosties and Subway sandwiches - and she relaxes by playing the guitar.
"I remember being so upset that I wasn't the popular kid (at school) and now that totally does not matter to me. I look back on it and I'm like, what would it have meant if I had been popular then? What would it really do for me, for the long run or for my future? Really nothing," she says.
"I don't really want to be like anyone else. Instead of spending all my time worrying about being like everyone else and fitting in, I spend all my time worrying about how to be different."
Even her favourite pin-ups aren't whay you'd expect. "I've always been a weird kid," she admits sheepishly. "When I was little, every other kid was dancing to *NSync. I thought I was going to marry John Lennon and my dad had to break it to me that it wasn't going to happen. That was the worst day of my life. Then I moved on to Johnny Cash... until I found out he was like my grandfather's age."
Her taste in men has moved on since then. After a two-year relationship with fellow Disney-mate Nick Jonas - they broke up at the end of 2007 - she's now dating underwear model and musician Justin Gaston.
"My boyfriend is like my father. We love hanging out and I love hanging out with him but I have other friends too that I have to spend time with. We're really close," she says.
Miley's rise to fame has come at a price. Constantly scrutinised by the press, she has found herself in the middle of controversies including pregnancy rumours, racism allegations, and a raunchy photo scandal.
"It's part of the job. For me, for the amount of things that I may lose like a little bit of privacy or this and that, for the things that I gain, it's totally worth it. Because I'm getting to live my dreams - this is what I've always wanted to do," she says.
"I'm not always going to make the right decisions and I will never claim that, but I really do want people to look at me when I make right decisions and feel inspired when they read my book, read my story and hear what I have to say."
While Hannah Montana turned her into a superstar, she's eager to move on.
"I want to continue to work as an actress - I can't be Hannah Montana until I'm 30, or I'll be a wrinkly Hannah! I want to continue to do it, as long as people are liking episodes. But I want to get away from that at some point and do other things and be taken more seriously," she says.
"I'm about to go into production with a movie with Nicholas Sparks called The Last Song. I said I want to change the world, and I think this could do that for me. I think it's going to change what people picture me as a lot, because it's a very intense and dramatic role."
With the world at her feet, it's no surprise that Miley is enjoying the ride. "I don't know what my career holds or what's going to happen in my life. It's not really up to me," she says.
"I think I have an amazing mixture of family, friends and also, extremely supportive fans who have been with me through a lot. It's just about keeping your head on straight and doing what you love every day, not for any other perks, parties or the people but just for the love of the art and for what you do.
"I'm very ambitious, and like to give myself new challenges and I think everyone should be that way, whether it's school or career. I live like I'm at the bottom even if I may be somewhere near the top.
"People (the press) want things to talk about, it's what sells. But exactly what they want is for you to give up or be knocked down, and I'm not giving up that easily, I suppose. I'm a bit more stubborn."