And he's good friends with Miley Cyrus' rock star dad, Billy Ray Cyrus.
In light of 20-year-old Miley's raunchy MTV Video Music Awards performance on Sunday, Bragman tells Business Insider, "I think it's hard for parents to watch, but that's part of having a kid in entertainment."
Getty Hollywood PR guru Howard Bragman is friends with the Cyrus family and says Miley "has a different kind of path ahead of her."
"I know Billy Ray really well; I've worked with him and he's my friend, and I think he adores Miley and respects her talent a great deal," adds Bragman. "He understands that this is how it works in this business."
"It's a rite of passage, particularly with these Disney girls. They seem to want to say 'hey, I'm not that little kid anymore, I'm a grown up lady.'"
Rick Diamond/Getty Bragman says Miley's recent antics are "a rite of passage, particularly with these Disney girls."
"Effectively she killed Hannah Montana Sunday night," says Bragman. "Long live Miley Cyrus, I think that was the message."
The veteran Hollywood publicist explains, "I understand it from a psychological point of view and a marketing point of view."
"From a psychological point of view, everyone tells Miley that they loved her as Hannah Montana and I'm sure she wants to throw up," he explains bluntly. "From a marketing point of view, these artists want to carry their audience with them — which is hard to do. It's easy to be hot for a while but in music in particular, it's hard to keep that going."
So how does Miley "keep that going" and where does she go from here?
Gerardo Mora/Getty Miley Cyrus played Disney Channel character "Hannah Montana" from 2006-2011.
"I think she has a different kind of path ahead of her, different kind of music," says Bragman. "Whether you liked it or not, she made her point. She had to be the caterpillar that shed her skin and now we're going to see what butterfly she's going to become."
As for how to do that, Bragman advises "All it takes is a couple good songs and you're relevant and you're hot. It's less about branding and more about what resonates. I think this is part of her finding herself and finding her new brand."
While some reports state that Miley's team is "freaking out" over her nearly naked twerk-tastic VMA performance, Bragman argues "I think they're thrilled."
Larry Busacca/Getty "I think this is part of her finding herself and finding her new brand," Bragman says of Miley's new look.
But Bragman also doesn't think that it's the people behind Miley who are pushing her new look and act.
"I think Miley's been in the business a very long time; I know her, she has opinions," Bragman tells Business Insider. "She wouldn't do it if she didn't feel comfortable doing this."
Bragman adds, "You look at all the people who performed that night and we're all talking about Miley —who didn't win an award. But she won the night."
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- Arts & Entertainment
- Miley Cyrus
- Howard Bragman