Miley Cyrus like you’ve never seen or heard her before is about to return to the spotlight. The 24-year-old singer and actress appeared on the cover of Billboard magazine, opening up about this next stage in her career, her political outlook, and her rekindled romance with Liam Hemsworth.
Cyrus made it clear that she is attempting to put the nipple pasties, over-the-top props, and glorified drug use behind her for a very specific reason.
“I love talking to people, and I approach them in a normal, ‘Don’t treat me different, ’cause I’m not’ way. That’s what started this evolution for me, getting out of my Dead Petz phase,” she said of her 2015 album. “People stare at me anyway, but people stare at me a lot when I’m dressed as a f**king cat… I like talking to people that don’t agree with me, but I don’t think I can do that in an aggressive way. I don’t think those people are going to listen to me when I’m sitting there in nipple pasties, you know?”
Part of this transformation includes giving up smoking weed and staying clean.
“I f**king hate it when people can’t adjust. I used to [resist changing]. But I haven’t smoked weed in three weeks, which is the longest I’ve ever [gone without it]. I’m not doing drugs, I’m not drinking, I’m completely clean right now! That was just something that I wanted to do,” she said.
She went on to say that she’s made some lifestyle changes, including the people who are regularly in her life.
“I like to surround myself with people that make me want to get better, more evolved, open,” she said. “And I was noticing, it’s not the people that are stoned. I want to be super clear and sharp, because I know exactly where I want to be.”
Cyrus made it clear that this change was entirely her decision.
“It’s easy, dude,” she said of giving up weed. “When I want something, it’s f**king easy for me. But if anyone told me not to smoke, I would not have done it. It’s because it was on my time. I know exactly where I am right now. I know what I want this record to be. And not in the sense of manipulation -- wanting something from my fans or the audience, like some slimy thing -- ‘How do I get attention?’ I never thought about that.”
The outspoken activist also wants to use her new image to open up a dialogue with those who differ with her politically. This decision sparked her desire to be on The Voice alongside country singer Blake Shelton.
“I’m down for hanging with Blake [Shelton]. I actually want to take advantage of the fact that he’s there, [because] his fans don’t really take me seriously as a country artist,” she said. “One, I haven’t given them that music. But I’ve got a tattoo of Johnny Cash’s autograph that he gave me when I was a little girl that says, ‘I’m in your corner.’ Dolly Parton is my f**king godmother. The fact that country music fans are scared of me, that hurts me. All the nipple pastie s**t, that’s what I did because I felt it was part of my political movement, and that got me to where I am now. I’m evolving, and I surround myself with smart people that are evolved.”
Cyrus had to return to The Voice to film the day after the presidential election results, when she posted a video online of herself in tears.
“I wanted to go to rehearsals. Liam [Hemsworth] was like, ‘Just don’t go. You’re not there. And you don’t know how everyone feels on that set,’” she recalled of her fiance’s advice. “Everyone’s from all different parts of the country, so he was like, ‘Don’t go and get into it with people right now.’ Because clearly unity is what we need.”
But being immersed in the music world through the NBC competition series has inspired Cyrus in her own work. In fact, she wrote her soon-to-be-released new single, “Malibu,” while in an Uber on the way to the show.
“I never would’ve believed you if three years ago you told me I’d be here writing this song,” Cyrus said of the tune, which is a love song about her on-again fiancé, Hemsworth.