Miley Cyrus is finally getting the recognition for her talent, artistry and heart that she’s deserved all along — and I’m here for it.
It’s no secret that I am a huge Miley fan. From tween kids at 13 on Disney’s Hannah Montana, talking shamelessly about our love of her during midday school lunch breaks with the other girls in my class, it was clear Miley was a kid just like us. And it’s no wonder the effect this sort of attachment can have on you.
Miley’s glow 👏 up 👏 is real.
In Miley’s exclusive interview with Forbes’ 30 Under 30 as one of the honorees for 2022, she states: “One thing I’m very proud of is that I started my business before I started my period. And now, I’ve performed at Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, inducted Joan Jett into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame—all on my period. It has never gotten in the way of me being a businesswoman.”
Miley’s reinvention into raw arena rock powerhouse matched with the vibrant gloss and stunning visuals of the 70s and 80s is a seamless fit for the once-Disney darling.
Her promo for her Billboard chart-topping Plastic Hearts album, which won her title of “Best Female Rock Artist of 2021” began long ago — some might even say since 2007’s “I Might Even Be A Rockstar.”
In late 2020, Miley unveiled a string of singles (“Slide Away,” “Midnight Sky”) and a series of beloved stripped-down Backyard Sessions, in which she revisits and honors the songs she loves. “Midnight Sky,” with its Stevie Nicks-approved “Stand Back” sample matched with her raw, bewitching confidence, dominated the radio charts in late 2020. Her sweet covers of songs like “Sweet Jane” for MTV Unplugged and The Cranberries’ “Zombie” for her Live at Whisky A Go Go series in the middle of the pandemic were powerful and intimate live sessions and vocal charmers to watch from such an immense star in the middle of the pandemic. Moreover, her cover of Hole’s “Doll Parts” on the Howard Stern Show was a stunner: her powerhouse vocals, incredible vulnerability and affinity for classic rock are clear, up front and center.
Miley kept her momentum going with an incredibly creative (and literal) Tiny Desk (Home) Concert series at the beginning of 2021, in which she performed some of her own originals and a captivating cover of Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You”, in pure Miley fashion.
Her collaboration with London pop superstar Dua Lipa in “Prisoner,” the second single off her Plastic Hearts album, drew all the attention as the pair was featured in a hot, steamy and sexy music video that captured the pure energy and spirit of the rock era. It was a pure homage to sex, drugs, and rock & roll, with a cheeky end note revealing, “In loving memory of all my exes, eat shit.”
“What I love about ‘Prisoner,’ I mean, I think it’s also coming at a perfect time for everybody,” Miley said in an interview with Apple Music‘s Zane Lowe. “We’re just trapped in our emotions right now. There’s no escaping it. It’s like, ‘Locked up, can’t get you off my mind.’ Anything that you try to suppress or compartmentalize at that point, it’s coming up. It’s yours to own, to own it or release it.”
“We have a lot of things in common,” Miley said of working with Dua. “I think fashion is your inside out. I think that she wears her inside out and I love that, because I love when you walk into a room, she’s recognizable … We edited [our music video] on text message… Her allowing me to have that direct line of communication and ability to just check each other, both of our egos are in check… There’s no competition. There’s a true partnership.”
“When I listen to a song, I see colors. [I saw] really deep purples and neon green,” Miley continued. “None of these really represent me, [but] when I think of her, those are the colors that I think of. Maybe it’s a part of the radiance or power. I kind of vibe off people’s charisma … When Dua’s around, her charisma, there’s no sense of desperation to it, like, ‘I’ve got to be the best because if I’m not what if…’ There’s a calmness to her success, which I really like. Because I feel like when you can tell someone is too much of a… or a survivalist. That I don’t like. And there’s this ego. It’s not ego, it’s insecurity. It’s fear. I don’t like that energy for me.”
On her songwriting process: “When I write songs, not only do I see color, but I’ll see what lipstick I have on. I see who’s mouth it’s gonna come out of. I see not the person that’s like, last night I was in a sweatshirt recording Stevie Nicks. But inn my mind, we are in our witchy realness, I’m totally in Stevie’s vibe, I’ve got my hat on and my hair is long, and the moon is full and there’s like wild dogs everywhere and we’re a part of it and we’re one of them. And that’s where I am, I’m not in here. When I write a song, sometimes it’s nice to write in unfamiliar places. You can go anywhere in your imagination.”
On “Midnight Sky,” Miley continued: “I felt like my story and my narrative had kind of been told for me over the past year. Obviously, I went through an extremely public breakup and, even more than that, a divorce, and with someone that I had been with for ten years. That narrative and that experience of ten years was told for me by one day from the eyes of a helicopter.”
Miley added the lyrics “it’s been a long night and the mirror’s tellin’ me to go home,” were “inspired by one of the last nights she went out before the corona[virus] craziness and lockdown” : “I went and performed at the Morrison hotel anniversary with The Doors. I ended up going out that night, and I went to take a picture because there was so many icons, Billy Idol, all these legends. I go to take a picture, and it was on selfie-style. With all this partying, I looked horrible, sweaty and flat, mascara dripping down my face and I thought well it’s time to go home!”
One YouTuber Tia writes of Miley: “I’m not Miley’s fan … but, everyone needs to have this kinds of person in their life. Supportive, talkative, open-minded, actually NOT SPOILED, full of ideas. Makes you want to be a better person tomorrow, especially in this era of technology and social media. Man, I just want to listen to her talking about these things because it makes me feel motivated to be and do better. Great job Miley! Keep it up and be a true icon to the young ones so they can learn what actually matters in life and about themselves through your experience.”
Another Jakob Whale wrote: “She could be promoting her masterfully crafted last album by singing songs like Angels Like You but instead she chooses to cover song after song and doing it absolutely flawlessly. This woman really loves music and performing to her core.”
On Miley’s New Years Eve Party NBC special, co-hosting with comedian Pete Davidson, Miley put all her wit, talent and star on full display. With a wardrobe malfunction she handled like a champ, SNL-inspired skits, performances with Brandi Carlile, her sister Noah Cyrus, Saweetie, and the premiere of her new song “You,” Miley entertained.
“Tonight’s show was all about being flexible, rolling with the punches, and making the best out of even the worst circumstances. And that resilience shouldn’t end here. Let’s bring that into the new year with us,” Miley reflected.
A pure rockstar in her own right. The talent, the grit, the artistry, the compassion for humanity and for simply being herself. She is a gem of our generation, and I’m just glad to be witness.
My highlights reel: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CYN9-pwJkts/