Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Creating the Next Teen Star

HOLLYWOOD—The next few weeks will see the release of a Selena Gomez movie, a Selena Gomez album and 30 million packages of Sara Lee bread printed with Selena Gomez's face.

Ms. Gomez has been waiting all her 17 years for this moment.

She plays a mischievous teenager with magical powers in the movie version of her hit sitcom of the same name, "Wizards of Waverly Place," premiering Friday on the Disney Channel. Disney is in overdrive to develop a fresh-faced teenage star as "Hannah Montana" actress Miley Cyrus grows up. In the August issue of Elle magazine, Ms. Cyrus poses on the cover in a black leather jacket, her lacy black bra peaking out, over the title "Miley: On Dad, Boyfriends and Why She's Not a Kid Anymore." At the Teen Choice Awards in Los Angeles earlier this month, Ms. Cyrus, 16, performed a pole dance on top of an ice-cream cart. The routine lit up the blogosphere. Mothers said it was inappropriate, while some fans argued that the pole was just there for balance. A spokeswoman for Ms. Cyrus declined to comment.

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