US rap-star Nelly has labelled Miley Cyrus the new Madonna in a recent interview with UK newspaper, The Daily Star.

The 38-year-old, who has racked up sales of over 100 million records himself, recently collaborated with the controversial singer on her new album Bangerz.

The Ride Wit Me singer said, “Miley’s a great talent. She’s young and ambitious and wants to do it her way.

Madonna did it her way, and she became one of the greatest female entertainers of all time.”

Madonna herself was highly controversial early in her career. In 1984, the pop superstar released her second album Like A Virgin. The title track sparked huge rumblings throughout the USA, with family groups fighting to ban the song, thought to be promoting pre-marital intercourse.

Her hit single Like A Prayer a few years later caused similar outrage. The music video in particular struck up worldwide protests amongst religious groups, who deemed it blasphemous use of Christian imagery. Ultimately however, this became a turning point in Madonna’s career, elevating her to even bigger fame and being viewed as a strong business woman, who knows exactly what sells.

And that’s exactly what Miley appears to be doing. Nelly, who is a keen poker player and has competed in the PokerStars Carribean Adventure, believes taking a gamble on being controversial is part and parcel of today’s industry.

He said, “You have to stay in people’s faces now. You have to be seen all the time, making headlines. It’s three years since I put out my last album. You can’t really be gone three months.”

Featuring on the track 4X4 on Miley’s latest release, the hip-hop star is back with new album M.O. and said of his collaboration with Miley, “It’s a kind of country, hip-hop, pop feel. It’s about having fun, kind of how a 4X4 truck symbolises rebelliousness – wanting to ride with the bad boys.”

And if there’s one thing the twerking Cyrus can’t be accused of, is not having fun. Her antics have seen her plastered over every newspaper, as well having public rows with Sinead O’Connor, Annie Lennox and Surfjan Stevens. Miley Cyrus is the name on everybody’s lips.

Perhaps she is the new Madonna?