It’s easy to try and define Miley Cyrus as an artist and person. It’s more rewarding to understand her complexities.
There’s a new collective line of thought that goes something like this: Miley Cyrus has shed her controversial ways, turned her focus to issues that matter, and more or less grown up. It’s a captivating narrative! It’s also very incomplete.
Two years removed from the start of her Bangerz era and Twerkgate at the 2013 VMAs, Cyrus has spent the past few months focused on a charity campaign, social politics, recording covers of rock classics and keeping her clothes on. Her Happy Hippie Foundation was founded to aid homeless youth and raise LGBT awareness, and has done so through taped “backyard session” performances alongside artists like Joan Jett, Ariana Grande and Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace. In recent weeks, Cyrus has ripped Indiana’s discriminatory legislation, supported Bruce Jenner’s quest for transgender awareness and made some forward-thinking comments about gender norms, while also declaring that she doesn’t need a romantic partner to be happy. She’s also covered songs by the Replacements and Crowded House, earning a new avalanche of indie cred.
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In her Vulture review of Cyrus’ performance at the Adult Swim upfront party earlier this month, Lindsay Zoladz writes about spotting the look on someone else’s face when they realize that Cyrus “might actually be something more than a twerking, smirking, Gremlin-esque Horsewoman of the Apocalypse.” I, too, have come into contact with those looks — the moment it dawns upon someone that Cyrus is a pop personality no longer worth dismissing for her boundary-pushing antics. Often, they chalk it up to the passage of time. “She’s over 21 now,” one friend told me recently — as if being able to legally drink means that you’re an adult and no longer the spawn of Satan.
The reality is, Cyrus was never a demon, and she’s not a saint now. She’s both extremely articulate and gloriously messy. She’s neither a paradox nor an inconsistency. Cyrus defies categorization, like everyone does to some degree, and that’s perfectly okay. The sooner we can collectively accept that, the easier it will be to “get” what Cyrus is doing.
Crowded House frontman Neil Finn has given his stamp of approval to Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande’s new cover of his band’s 1986 classic “Don’t Dream It’s Over.”
The pair’s video, which features them performing while clad in footie pajamas, hit the Web yesterday. It’s part of Cyrus’ “Backyard Sessions” to raise awareness for her Happy Hippie Foundation, which aids homeless and LGBT youth.
Cyrus recently surprised fans by covering Dido’s “No Freedom” on her own and the Replacements’ “Androgynous” with help from Joan Jett and Against Me’s Laura Jane Grace.
“What a life that song has had,” Finn tells Billboard exclusively of “Dream.” “I’m happy to see them enjoying it so much and hope it inspires some donations to a good cause.”
“Don’t Dream It’s Over” is arguably the best-known song in the catalog of Crowded House, who rose to fame in the 1980s from the ashes of seminal New Zealand rockers Split Enz. “Dream” hit No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1987 and has since been covered by everyone from Sixpence None The Richer and Susan Boyle to Faith No More and Diana Krall.
Crowded House split in 1996 but reunited a decade later, and has since released two studio albums and toured extensively. Finn tells Billboard he is writing songs for a new album, performing rare solo shows in Melbourne and Sydney later this month and has just produced an album for young New Zealand artist Jesse Sheehan. What’s more, “I’m studying volcanoes in my spare time,” he says.
When Miley Cyrus heard that one of her teenage fans in Lansing, Mich., was being bullied over a “Legalize Gay” T-shirt, the pop star picked up the phone and called her. “Someone at the school who is an adult and seemed more powerful than her told her that she wasn’t supposed to be wearing that shirt at school,” said Cyrus. “I just wanted to make clear that she had a legal right to express herself however she wanted.”
Cyrus’ call is part of the work she’s doing with the newly launched Happy Hippie Foundation, which supports LGBTQ and homeless youth. When Cyrus launched the nonprofit organization earlier this week, she spoke in interviews about her personal investment in the issue, saying she’d had relationships that “weren’t straight.” In conversation with TIME, she clarifies that she doesn’t label herself as gay, bisexual or straight.
“I’m not hiding my sexuality. For me, I don’t want to label myself as anything,” she says. “We love putting people in categories, but what I like sexually isn’t going to label me as a person.”
Cyrus says that she believes she should be judged based on herself, not who she is or isn’t dating. “It has a lot to do with being a feminist, but I’m finally O.K. with being alone,” she says. “I think that’s something we have to talk about more: that you can be alone.”
“There are times in my life where I’ve had boyfriends or girlfriends. And there are times where I just love being with myself and don’t want to give part of myself away to someone else … I think that’s a new freedom for women, especially. I don’t know that my mother would have been able to be 22 and secure in being alone. But my future doesn’t rely on having a partner.”
Still, Cyrus understands her rejection of such labels will be hard for people to accept. “There’s all this pressure to define yourself sexually, but why? Our world revolves around sex,” she says. “Like, when I did this photo shoot with Annie Leibovitz when I was 14 or 15, everyone jumped to make it this sexual thing. But I never thought of it as sexual. Annie never thought of taking a sexual photo of a teenager. But everyone made it something it wasn’t.”
Speaking about personal issues has helped Cyrus gain a passionate social media following that looks to her for advice or help, as that young fan did after hearing that Happy Hippie had a mission to empower young people through social media. The girl was ecstatic to hear from the star, who she’d followed since Cyrus’ days on Hannah Montana, and cried when she saw Cyrus call the issue out on social media. “Without Happy Hippie, maybe that story wouldn’t have been heard, and she would have changed the shirt,” says Cyrus.
The principal of the Michigan school tells TIME that she intends to speak with the person in question — who was neither a teacher nor an administrator — and that the school allows students to exercise their First Amendment rights.
Other than them both being massive stars, what do George Clooney and Miley Cyrus have in common? Country roots and a Christmas special.
Earlier this week, George was spotted chatting with the pop star at the Met Gala in New York City, and Thursday, at his “Tomorrowland” junket in Los Angeles, George told Access Hollywood’s Liz Hernandez about his connection to Miley.
“I worked with Miley Cyrus,” he said. “Bill Murray has a Christmas special coming out next Christmas and I ride in a sleigh with Miley Cyrus, pulled by The Rockettes, I think — or something like that,” George said.
“So I’ve gotten to know Miley and we have a little Kentucky history together,” George continued (Clooney is from Kentucky and Miley’s dad, Billy Ray, was born in Kentucky).
George said teaming up with Miley for the Bill Murray holiday project was a blast.
“She was fantastic to work with, I’m telling you like fantastic and fun and a real pro,” he continued. “And Bill Murray and I had drinks a few nights ago and he was just talking about how impressed he was as an entertainer and also just as a — just in general as a pro, how professional she was. I really liked her.”
Two other celebs George and his wife, Amal Clooney, were spotted conversing with at the Met Gala were Sofia Vergara and her fiancé, “Magic Mike” star Joe Manganiello.
“That was fun,” George said. “Joe’s huge, man!”
“I’m 5’11 and I literally felt like… you’re like, ‘Oh my God. You’re a giant!'” George continued (Joe is 6’5″). “He’s huge and she always makes me laugh. I’ve seen her for years and she has the greatest sense of humor. She’s fun.”
In George’s new film, the actor plays a curmudgeonly inventor who goes on a sci-fi adventure with Britt Robertson’s character to Tomorrowland. Inside Tomorrowland, there is a lot of action and adventure, and Clooney’s character definitely gets into some scrapes.
“Oh no, that’s not fun,” George said of the fight scenes and flying ones. “I don’t enjoy all that stuff. That ticks me off, because it used to be, in my thirties, I was the guy throwing all the punches and I was the guy winning the fights, but now I’m at the age where I lose every fight — every single fight I get punched and fall on the ground and whine.
“And it’s really fun getting older and doing those,” he joked. “But I really did enjoy the stuff just driving around the truck with Britt and Raffey [Cassidy] was really fun. …Those young women were just fun and smart and really fun to hang with. I really enjoyed that.”
“Tomorrowland” hits theaters on May 22, 2015.
In December of last year, Leelah Alcorn, a young transgender girl, committed suicide. It hit me as hard as if I had known her. I felt connected to her. For a year, my focus has been on helping homeless youth, and it was heartbreaking to hear that 40 percent of homeless teens identify as LGBT. The more I learned about what life can be like as a transgender person, the more I realized how especially woven into homelessness that is. Acceptance is a huge step towards eradicating youth homelessness. Being who you are and who you want to be has nothing to do with gender, sexuality, body type, race, or age.
I haven’t been quiet or shy about discrimination issues towards the LGBT community because by alienating people, it makes it harder to work, live in society, have a home, have a family, and can result in homelessness. I wanted to learn more about other challenges in the LGBT community, like violence against transgender women, HIV/AIDS and family condemnation. Anything beautiful on this planet takes time, and with time comes change. That’s why I’m launching the Happy Hippie Foundation — because every life is valuable and we should make sure those who question their value feel protected.
Art starts as a blank canvas and has to be painted on by someone with a vision to become a piece of art. We are our own canvases — we should be free to create anything we want our lives to be!
The Happy Hippie Foundation is encouraging people to be the artists of a picture of true freedom, freedom of self-expression… freedom to be true to themselves. The fight to be free isn’t over. We have to rally together and fight injustice. Being a happy hippie means making others happy, even those unlike yourself! Happy Hippie Foundation isn’t just focusing on one problem; I am young and there is so much to fight for, learn, and be passionate about. Homeless youth and young people experiencing the negative effects of being LGBT in our world today is an issue that is very common and extremely current. I am honored to be a part of this movement and living in a time to witness the revolution! Bruce Jenner spoke beautifully about using his platform and fame to DO GOOD and to make real change, and I want to do exactly that!
Change is what we need and what young people are counting on! Living a life untrue to who you really are makes life unbearable for human beings with feelings and emotions — like love, maybe the greatest one of them. Pointless judgment and its consequences are unfortunately way too common. All humans have valid feelings and rights!
No one should have to hide who they really are, no matter what his or her name, gender, status or orientation. That’s why happy hippies are here to say that every life is valuable and it is our mission to make sure those who question the value of themselves and their lives feel protected and loved by us… which they very much are.
When Miley Cyrus wears pasties or posts photos of her pink armpits, it’s not to be a provocateur. The 22-year-old says she’s just being herself, and she wants all young people to have that same opportunity.
That’s why she’s launching the Happy Hippie Foundation to help homeless and LGBT youth, adding that not all her past relationships were “straight, heterosexual” ones. Cyrus didn’t elaborate.
“The position I’m in, I feel like I’ve got a lot of power,” she said in a Monday phone interview with The Associated Press. “But so many kids don’t feel that way. They’re under their parents’ rule.”
Cyrus, who famously asked a homeless man to accept her Video of the Year trophy at the 2014 Video Music Awards, said she was inspired by the attention generated by that gesture. And she was further moved by the suicide of transgender teen Leelah Alcorn in December. More than 1.6 million young people are homeless in the United States, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless. Cyrus said 40 percent identify themselves as LGBT.
An entertainer since age 14, she wants to use her fame for good, calling Bruce Jenner “my hero” for shining light on transgender issues.
“When you have all eyes on you, what are you saying? And that’s what I had to ask myself a lot,” she said. “It’s like, I know you’re going to look at me more if my (breasts) are out, so look at me. And then I’m going to tell you about my foundation for an hour and totally hustle you.”
Cyrus is passionate about a lot of issues, from climate change to animal welfare, but said she chose to focus on youth homelessness because it’s specific and tangible.
“It’s something that everyone sees,” she said. “It’s like the birds chirping. We’re consciously ignoring it at all times, but it’s always happening right in front of us.”
She plans to remain focused on increasing acceptance for LBGT youth and improving homeless kids’ lives for at least five years before broadening her scope.
“It’s not going to be an overnight process,” she said. “You’ve got to get into a lot of people’s brains and you’ve got to really make this a topic.”
Funds raised by Happy Hippie will create digital support groups for LGBT youth and their families. The foundation is also aiding My Friend’s Place, a center for homeless youth in Hollywood.
To launch the Happy Hippie Foundation and raise money and awareness for its programs, she’s unveiling a collection of music video collaborations with artists such as Joan Jett and Ariana Grande. The Backyard Sessions will be available on the foundation’s Facebook page beginning Tuesday.
Cyrus is also writing songs about loving one another and being true to one’s self. Which comes back to why she dyed her armpit hair pink.
“The pink pits are saying, ‘Don’t tell me what to do,'” she said. “It’s back to what I’m preaching in a way, you know, telling these kids. I’m not just saying you be yourself and I’m going to go be Miley Cyrus. I’m saying I’m going to be my (expletive) self, too.”
Miley Cyrus will induct Joan Jett into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at this year’s ceremony.
The Wrecking Ball singer has been confirmed as a presenter at the annual bash and she will do the honours as the punk icon is recognised for her inspirational career.
The Hall of Fame has also announced more for the event, with Sir Paul McCartney inducting former Beatles bandmate Ringo Starr, Fall Out Boy praising Green Day and Stevie Wonder paying tribute to Bill Withers.
Meanwhile, the likes of Dave Grohl, Tom Morello and John Legend will take to the stage for live performances at the ceremony next weekend.
Ahead of her induction Joan – who has championed the likes of Against Me! singer Laura Jane Grace – admitted there is a long way to go for female stars to be recognised alongside their male counterparts.
She told Billboard: “There should be more women in the Hall of Fame, and more women in rock. They’re out there, they just don’t get the notice the pop girls do.”
Her generation is “moving forward,” the singer tells TIME
Indiana’s new religious freedom law, which detractors say will allow religious business leaders to legally discriminate against the gay community, has drawn criticism from high-profile voices like Ashton Kutcher, Hillary Clinton and Apple CEO Tim Cook.
The latest celebrity to weigh in: Miley Cyrus, who shared her thoughts with TIME as part of a conversation about the future of music and youth culture for an upcoming issue of the magazine. Excerpts below:
I lived a life where I had to be something every day and had to be a character, and it wasn’t necessarily who I wanted to be. And now I’ve dedicated my life to being whoever it is that I want to be, and also constantly learning and evolving.
That’s what’s wrong with [supporters of the Indiana law]—they’re not choosing to live that way. And if you don’t choose to live that way, you’re not going to last in this generation because we are overtaking you. They are dinosaurs, and they are dying off. We are the new generation, and with that will come so much.
We are moving forward. As much as we get distracted by stupid laws that make us feel like we’re regressing, we’re not. We are moving forward because it’s our turn as young people. It’s a new rights movement. There’s so much that young people want to do and change and see, and I think a lot of that can come through social media.
I put something on my Instagram today about how people are trying now to make the Indiana law look like something that it’s not. They’re trying to make it look like it’s not discriminatory. It’s confusing for my fans, so I’m happy to [speak up about it]. They won’t listen to Tim Cook, maybe. But they’ll listen to me, you know? And people are starting to listen, I think.
“These young people are homeless through no fault of their own”
Miley Cyrus has written a letter to Andrew Cuomo asking the New York governor to include $4.75 million in funding for homeless youth in the state’s budget.
The singer, whose Happy Hippie Foundation advocates for young people without homes, asked the governor and the leaders of the state’s assembly and senate to back a request by a state senator to allocate the money for 1,000 new beds, which she says are badly needed.
“Between 2009 and 2012,” Cyrus writes, “the number of kids turned away from homeless youth shelters in New York grew from 570 to more than 5,000.”
Cyrus posted the letter on Instagram for fans to read:
Cyrus invited a young homeless man to accept her award for Video of the Year at the VMAs in 2014, and has been giving star-studded backyard concerts to raise money for the cause.
Patrick Schwarzenegger says he did not cheat on Miley Cyrus, despite a new report that suggests the son of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver may have been unfaithful to the singer while partying with a bikini-clad brunette in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico this past weekend. The generally reliable TMZ floated the rumor that Schwarzenegger was possibly “taking a wrecking ball to his relationship” with Cyrus because he was photographed getting “very close with some OTHER chick,” but Schwarzenegger himself is saying it’s not true.
Despite pictures of Schwarzenegger and the brunette embracing, walking arm-in-arm, and doing body shots, he says there’s nothing going on between the two. In fact, the woman pictured appearing cozy with Schwarzenegger is the girlfriend of one of his buddies. He quickly clarified on Twitter, “Omg. It’s one of my best friend’s girlfriend,” adding that he would “NEVER do anything against” his girlfriend Cyrus.
Schwarzenegger ended his series of tweets, “Girls have guy friends and guys have friends that are girls.” Gossip Cop assumes Schwarzenegger was too busy watching his dad’s Terminator films to see When Harry Met Sally, which challenged the notion that men and women could just be friends. In either case, even though Schwarzenegger said he did not cheat on Cyrus, we’re sure a number of the webloids and tabloids this week will claim otherwise.
Miley Cyrus has gotten the seal of approval from Patrick Schwarzenegger’s sister Katherine Schwarzenegger!
During an interview with Extra, the 25-year-old gushed over her little brother’s pop star girlfriend.
“I think they’re adorable,” Katherine said of the cute couple. “If my brother’s happy, I’m happy and that’s all that matters to me. You just want your sibling to be happy, if they’re with someone who makes them happy and in a happy healthy relationship then I’m happy.”
Speaking of the “adorable” lovebirds, a source tells E! News that Miley and Patrick’s relationship is getting ‘’very serious.”
The insider adds that the 21-year-old hunk’s mom Maria Shriver really likes the 22-year-old “We Can’t Stop” singer and thinks she is a terrific girl. In fact, Miley, Patrick and Maria all had dinner together earlier this week. The twosome was spotted leaving The Palm restaurant in Beverly Hills Wednesday following their family meal.
As for their date night attire, Miley looks cute and conservative in a black knit dress and black boots while her beau looked hunky as usual in blue jeans and a sweater.
It’s nice to hear the cute couple are stronger than ever after nearly five months of dating!
MIKE WILL MADE-IT IS HIP-HOP’S NUMBER-ONE PRODUCER AND ALSO ONE OF ITS YOUNGEST. AS POP PRINCESS MILEY CYRUS EXPLAINS, WHEN SHE TOOK HIS SOUND MAINSTREAM, IT WAS A MATCH THAT COULD ONLY BE MADE IN AMERICA.
Mike Will [Mike WiLL Made-It] had a vision for me first, before anyone else knew I was going to have this revolution. He saw it before he even knew if I was working on music. He was like, “Someone get ahold of Miley Cyrus. I don’t know if she’s making music, but she’s gonna be working on it when she hears this song!” There isn’t a huge difference between urban culture and country music culture. People don’t realize that cowboys and gangsters are the same thing. I’ve talked to Mike Will about growing up around Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings, and he would be like, “They’re gangsters.”
In 2013 I did the MTV VMAs. Mike was inspiring me a lot that year. To me, hip-hop was similar to how my mom described the good rock scene when she was young. Hip-hop became the new punk because that was the rebellious place to be making music. The idea of innovators versus imitators is something that he and I battle with a lot. Mike has such a sound now, it’s hard to go to a club without hearing that sound. Even with me, you have to take it as a form of flattery, but people try to make a Mike Will sound—and a knockoff isn’t ever as good. Some people can’t tell, but there is a sophistication to Mike’s sound.
People are shocked by the fact that he’s 24 years old. It’s the same thing with me…people can’t believe, when they talk to me, that I’m only 22. It’s the lifestyle and the ambition. The reason people always listen to me in my business meetings is because nobody knows where young people are going more than young people. He’s like me because when we want something, we don’t take no for an answer. When you have that drive, people forget how young you are. He’s more than a producer. I think he’s building an empire. When you look at what 50 Cent did with Vitaminwater or what Dre did with Beats, it all started with music, and Mike knows how to build himself. That’s like Dolly Parton. It’s funny to mention her, because Dolly is a country star with big titties and glitter, but inside she is a businesswoman. I’m a musician, and at one time I was less credible than I am now—although a lot of people accepted it because this is America—and I know that Mike has so much more he can do within art and fashion and business. He’s only 24 so he has forever to do it.
Of course, we have differences. I never had a problem, with my parents flying me in and out of L.A. to become who I am, but Mike had to do it all himself, out of a basement in Atlanta. He wasn’t born into this, he got here strictly on music, which is more than a lot of people can say. That’s where he got “Mike WiLL Made-It.” He really got here because of himself and that’s the most respectable thing. I love when people are underestimated. He started making beats at 14 and was working as a manager, hustling these three kids around Atlanta. He’s always been above his age and trying to hustle. He would take risks and stay out late from school, and look at how his life has changed.
he last time Miley Cyrus released an album, she came in like a big heavy thing that comes in super hard and stuff. But it looks like she’s taking a more subtle approach this time around.
On Sunday (Mar. 8), Miley Instagrammed a video from the recording studio of her singing waaaaaaailing what appears to be a new song.
“Why do people only show forgiveness,” Miley sings, “when they wanna sound cool in a song?” Oh my god, if she’s lyrically subtweeting Ruben Studdard I will scream.
Miley’s #dirtyhippie mentor, Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne, was also in the studio, and he posted a video of his own to Instagram a day prior.
You can hear a reverb-heavy Miley vocal playing in the background — not sure if it’s the same song Miley posted about though.
While Miley’s kept pretty mum about her Bangerz follow-up, she did perform a new song inspired by a friend’s dead cat at Art Basel in December.
The “We Can’t Stop” singer also revealed on “Entertainment Tonight” that she’s been hard at work “every day” in the studio.
“I’ve got all of it [recorded],” she revealed to “ET.” “I just don’t know what I kinda want to go out there. Just when I think I have my record done, something new happens where I want to write about it.”
M.A.C crowned Miley Cyrus as their new Viva Glam girl this year, the campaign that since its inception in 1994 has endeavoured to make a difference in the world with a community outreach for HIV/AIDS. For her colour of choice, Cyrus selected a hot pink shade; and a hue any less ostentatious would not have been worthy of pop music’s present enfant terrible.
On being the new Viva Glam girl: “I’m really excited; I think it’s really important for my fans to be able to see me doing something I love. And when you’re in a position that I am, it’s important to give back and find things that you are passionate about.”
On this particular shade of pink: “I wanted to create this hot pink shade, a shade that is very disco, cyber and almost alien-inspired. After the lipstick shade was decided, we developed the Lipglass by almost chopping up a bunch of disco-balls and mixing with the shade of my Viva Glam lipstick.”
On championing individuality: “That is why I picked such loud colours, because I’m really loud! I think your hair, clothes and make-up is all a working art piece and you can do whatever you want. That’s why I was so particular and annoying about this shade of pink. It had to be the one that was the most ME. Lipstick makes women and guys feel cool and fabulous and glamorous. They connect to the colour and to you and what you stand for, and it’s all going to a really amazing cause.”