One month after the Irish singer-songwriter died at age 56, Cyrus spoke about a 2013 incident between the performers that saw the "Nothing Compares 2 U" artist pen an open letter criticizing Cyrus for appearing nude in the "Wrecking Ball" music video. O'Connor speculated that the video was a result of exploitation from the men around the Hannah Montana actress.
"I was expecting there to be controversy and backlash, but I don't think I expected other women to put me down or turn on me, especially women that had been in my position before," Cyrus said Thursday night in her ABC concert special Endless Summer Vacation: Continued (Backyard Sessions). "This is when I'd received an open letter from Sinead O'Connor, and I had no idea about the fragile mental state that she was in, and I was also only 20 years old, so I could really only wrap my head around mental illness so much. All that I saw was that another woman had told me that this idea was not my idea."
ABC; David Corio/Redferns Miley Cyrus; Sinead O'Connor
The 30-year-old said she stands by the "Wrecking Ball" video, which sees her swinging from the titular object with no clothes on and licking a sledgehammer, and that it was a conscious decision on her part.
"Our younger childhood triggers and traumas come up in weird and odd ways, and I think I'd just been judged for so long for my own choices that I was just exhausted, and I was in this place where I finally was making my own choices and my own decisions, and to have that taken away from me deeply upset me," she continued. "God bless Sinead O'Connor, for real, in all seriousness."
The special then cut to Cyrus performing "Wonder Woman," a track from her new album Endless Summer Vacation, with a title card indicating that the song was dedicated to O'Connor. At the end of the song, Cyrus also paused for a moment of silence.
Elsewhere in the special, Cyrus discussed her relationship with her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, and said he was "under-appreciated" as a vocalist when he rose to prominence in the country music scene. She also recalled auditioning for Hannah Montana in middle school, and the hidden meaning in her new song "Used to Be Young," which dropped Friday.
"This has a vintage 1970s Mickey Mouse T-shirt underneath, which I thought would be getting the point across of what the song was really about," Cyrus said of her clothing choice for the video. "But also allowing all the other layers of my life and career to be just as important."
Endless Summer Vacation: Continued (Backyard Sessions) is now streaming on Hulu.
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