After rumors of an engagement swell, Cyrus announces that Hemsworth, 22, popped the question on May 31 with a 3.5-carat diamond ring from jeweler Neil Lane. "I'm so happy to be engaged and look forward to a life of happiness with Liam," the bride-to-be, 19, tells PEOPLE.
Cyrus takes the stage at the MTV Video Music Awards alongside Robin Thicke and causes a stir with her overtly sexual performance, in which she grinds up on the singer, repeatedly sticks out her tongue and dances around in a nude bikini. The routine draws much criticism, but her father, Billy Ray, comes to the star's defense, saying, "She's still my little girl and I'm still her dad regardless how this circus we call show business plays out. I love her unconditionally and that will never change."
Following months of speculation, reps for Cyrus and Hemsworth confirm the end of the couple's engagement. The news follows the singer's latest interview with Harper's Bazaar, in which she says, "I definitely don't have time to deal with a wedding right now."
Cyrus tops the Billboard albums chart with the release of Bangerz, which sells 270,000 copies in its first week. The album, which features hit songs "We Can't Stop" and "Wrecking Ball," "has its own kind of craziness, taking you on a wild-child ride," writes PEOPLE music critic Chuck Arnold, "[and] packs moments of emotional power."
Cyrus keeps her name in the headlines for everything including kissing Katy Perry, getting a lip tattoo, spending a week in the hospital following a severe allergic reaction, adopting a new dog after her pup Floyd dies, then giving that dog away and getting another new dog a few months later. But through the media madness, godmother Dolly Parton sticks by her side. "Back in the day, doing my own things my own way, and dressing sexy and showing my cleavage and all that, I got a lot of criticism," Parton tells The Sunday Times magazine. "Lots of people thought I was making a mistake and that I was just trashy, which I was."
BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Michael Buckner/Getty; Courtesy Miley Cyrus; Lucas Jackson/Landov; AKM-GSI; amazon.com; Gary Miller/Getty Images