Miley Cyrus' 'Sick' Album Eyed for Early 2013

Miley Cyrus and Gwen Stefani of No Doubt pose backstage during the 2012 iHeartRadio Music Festival on September 21, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Although many red-carpet interviews during this year's VMAs chose to characterize Miley Cyrus' busy schedule as having a new haircut and a fiance, the artist formerly known as Hannah Montana has actually been working for the better part of the year on a new album - with music due in the coming months.

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She told Billboard backstage at the iHeartRadio Music Festival that she hopes to have a new single out by year's end, with a full album due in early 2013. "I wanna make a sick record," she said.

Among her recent collaborators? Pharrell Williams, a longtime idol of Cyrus', and hip-hop production duo Da Internz, the studio whizzes notably behind recent hits like Rihanna's "Birthday Cake" and Big Sean's "A$$."

"I've been in so many sessions and just kind of bunkering down and working really hard and perfecting everything," she said. "I've never really had time to do that, to kind of have my record kind of 'done' and then sit there and make it until it's perfect. So, it's been really, really fun. This whole year that's all I've really dedicated life to."

Cyrus, who introduced Lil Wayne at iHeartRadio Fest on Friday, said she's been meeting with labels about releasing the new music (her relationship with longtime label Hollywood Records is unclear). But for now, she's just "enjoying making the record I want to make before there gets be too many people" involved in the equation.

She added, "I just want to make sure it's exactly what I want first."

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Since 2007, the singer-actress has released three studio albums under her own name, all with Hollywood Records. Two of them, "Meet Miley Cyrus" and 2008's "Breakout," topped the Billboard 200, while her last album, "Can't Be Tamed," reached No. 3 in 2010.