Miley Cyrus ''felt ridiculous'' playing Hannah Montana after having sex.

The 26-year-old singer and actress spent much of her childhood playing a version of herself named Miley Stewart and her blonde popstar alter-ego Hannah Montana in the eponymously titled Disney Channel show, which also spawned albums, tours, and a movie entitled 'Hannah Montana: The Movie'.

Miley hung up her blonde wig in 2011, and has now said the character - whom she began playing in 2006, when she was just 13 - became ''weird'' for her after she lost her virginity, because she felt as though she was ''crushing'' the dreams of her young fans.

She said: ''I [wanted to stop being Hannah Montana] once I was 18 because it felt ridiculous. The minute I had sex, I was kind of like, I can't put the f***ing wig on again. It got weird. It just felt like ... I was grown up.

''One time I went backstage at Disneyland, and Peter Pan was smoking a cigarette. And I was like, 'That's me. That's the kind of dreams I'm crushing.' That's how everyone felt with the bong video, but I'm not a Disney mascot. I'm a person.''

And although she's no longer a Disney star, the 'Malibu' hitmaker is still proud of her past on the channel.

She added: ''It's pretty cool when you hear Cardi B was listening to Hannah Montana when she was in high school. That s**t makes me happy.''

Miley is also pleased that she's now in a place where her career brings her ''the respect'' that she wants.

Speaking to ELLE magazine, she said: ''[I get] the respect that I want. When I walk into a room, people may think, 'Okay, she gets her t*ts out.' But they also think, 'But she's got a f***ing sick voice,' and that's all I care about.''