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Miley Cyrus Opens Up About Sinéad O’Connor Feud Over ‘Wrecking Ball’

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Miley Cyrus and Sinéad O’Connor

Arturo Holmes | Stefania D'Alessandro/Getty Images


Miley Cyrus has spoken out about her battle with the late Sinead O’Connor, who claimed the pop star was “pimped” out. Following O’Connor’s death in July at the age of 56, many admirers recalled her open letter to Cyrus. The letter referenced the then-recent release of Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” music video, in which she is seen swinging naked on a demolition ball. After Cyrus stated that O’Connor’s accompanying visuals for her 1990 single “Nothing Compares 2 U” had inspired her, O’Connor responded to the then-20-year-old “in the spirit of motherliness and with love.” Cyrus was warned that naked videos and licking sledgehammers were not “cool” and that the music industry ‘pimped’ her.

In the new ABC documentary Endless Summer Vacation: Continued (Backyard Sessions), Cyrus addresses the letter as well as her reaction at the time. “I expected controversy and backlash when I made ‘Wrecking Ball,’ but I never expected to be attacked by other women, especially those who had been in my shoes before,” the 30-year-old recalled. “So this was when I received an open letter from Sinéad O’Connor, and I had no idea regarding the fragile mental state that she was in,” Cyrus responded at the time by mocking earlier tweets written by O’Connor during a period of poor mental health. She compares the singer to former Nickelodeon child star Amanda Bynes, who was additionally going through a mental health crisis.


Miley Cyrus Addresses Her Feud With Sinéad O’Connor Over ‘Wrecking Ball’: ‘I Had No Idea About Her Frail Mental Condition

Miley Cyrus’ ABC special, “Endless Summer Vacation: Continued (Backyard Sessions),” which aired on the network on August 24, had multiple poignant moments reflecting on the singer’s decades-long career in the entertainment industry. Cyrus reflected on her historic conflict with the late Sinéad O’Connor over her criticism of Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” music video, which depicted the singer posing naked. Cyrus told ABC that she expected “controversy and backlash” after releasing the video nearly ten years ago, but she did not expect “other women to put me down or turn on me, especially women who had been in my position before.” In preparation for the single’s video, Cyrus was quoted in 2013 as claiming that she was inspired by O’Connor’s graphics for her 1990 smash “Nothing Compares 2 U.” O’Connor responded to Cyrus, then 20- year-old Miley Cyrus, “In the spirit of motherliness as well as love” in an open letter, telling her that it wasn’t “‘cool’ to be naked as well as licking sledgehammers in your videos,” and that it would “obscure your talent by letting yourself to be pimped” by the industry. Don’t be fooled by the men staring at you either; they don’t give a sh’t about you either.

In reaction, Cyrus published a screenshot of O’Connor’s troubling tweets and compared the singer to former Nickelodeon child actress Amanda Bynes, who was publicly dealing with mental health issues at the time. “Your posting today of tweets of mine from two years ago makes them appear as if they were recent since I posted them when I was unwell and seeking help,” O’Connor said. In doing so, you make fun of me and Amanda Bynes for having mental health problems and seeking care. I mean, seriously… who advises you?” Almost ten years after the premiere of the music video and the ensuing conflict, Cyrus stated, “I had no idea about the fragile mental state that she was in, the fact that I was only 20 years old made it even harder for me to wrap my head around mental illness until I realised that another lady had told me that it wasn’t my idea.” “I had been judged for long enough for my own choices that I was just exhausted,” she continued, “and I was in this place where I was finally making my own decisions and choices and to have that taken away from me was extremely upsetting me,” she concluded, before adding, “God bless Sinéad O’Connor for real, in all seriousness.”


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