Miley Cyrus Believes Her ‘Pop Culture Moments’ Distracted From Her Previous Music

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Miley Cyrus is fresh off the release of her latest album, Plastic Hearts, an occasion she has marked with a new Rolling Stone cover story.

One topic she discusses at length is putting a focus on the music instead of the other things that come with it. Cyrus said that at some points in her career, it has felt like the “pop culture moments,” as she put it, somewhat overshadowed the actual music:

“I think that I’m really embracing — and everyone else is embracing, too — that the music is a priority right now. [Points to giant photo of her licking an ice cream cone shot in 2013.] Look at this f*cking wall. That wasn’t about the music for a moment. The music was driving it, but all those things from that era, especially with Bangerz, the pop-culture moments almost eclipse the music itself. I guess I’m just in love with the fact that for once it feels like it’s really focused on the music, and I think I felt that I almost took some blame for the distraction sometimes.

I remember comments saying, ‘Why the f*ck do you distract everybody with getting naked and shaking your ass when you’re a f*cking talented-ass singer?’ But because I did grow up watching the Cher show religiously, I love show business. I love entertainment. I love pop culture. I love unforgettable moments. I think there was a balance of me just loving making big media moments but also a sadness in the fact that I would think, ‘Did anyone even hear my song?’ When you think of ‘Wrecking Ball,’ you don’t think of the pain. You don’t think of me looking directly into the camera, breaking the wall, crying, reaching out. You remember me getting naked, and I don’t know whose fault that is. I don’t know if that’s mine or the way that our brains are programmed to think sexuality, for lack of a better word, trumps art.”

Touching on a similar point elsewhere during the conversation, Cyrus said her mother was “angry” at her for dancing on a pole at the Kids’ Choice Awards in 2009, saying, “I think even she felt it could be distracting from what I was doing. She knew the voice and talents that I could showcase. She was like, ‘What the f*ck? You have the biggest song. Can you just make it about the song? Why do you have to make it about being a stripper?’”

Read the full feature here.

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