Stevie Nicks, Joan Jett, and Billy Idol toast Miley’s rock-star chapter.
“I am not the person I was yesterday,” says Miley Cyrus. “Cutting with Stevie Nicks on the phone, that changed me forever. Everything changes me forever. Every night before I go to sleep, I say goodbye to myself, in a way, because that person is done.” The shape-shifting pop icon has worn many hats throughout her action-packed career—Disney idol, pop/rap dynamo, down-home hippie torn between Nashville and Malibu—but there’s something about her rock-star chapter, realized in her glamorous seventh album Plastic Hearts, that feels the most like her destiny.
It isn’t just that Cyrus has the pipes to carry these pummeling, heavyweight songs, which funnel ’80s glam and punk into anthemic, electric pop—it’s how downright convincing she is in the role. Rock’s leading ladies are on board: After Cyrus turned Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” into a raw, rough-edged revelation, Debbie Harry called her a “force to be reckoned with.” On “Bad Karma,” Joan Jett brings “I don’t give a damn” attitude to a song that raises a glass to bad decisions. And Nicks, clearly a major influence, bellows magnificently on the remix to “Midnight Sky,” a tantalizing riff on “Edge of Seventeen” that feels like a woman set free.
Much of the album was shaped by Cyrus’ divorce from actor Liam Hemsworth, which was finalized in early 2020, as well as the loss of her house in a California wildfire and her struggles with addiction. But on Plastic Hearts, she channels all that real pain, guilt, and suffering—and occasionally, the jaded frustration of someone who’s been up and down before—into glossy yet vigorous expressions of inner tension and heat. “I have the artist torture thing going on, too, where I’m a little conflict-seeking because it’s creative,” she says. “I like to feel sad sometimes. And I like to feel happy. I really like to feel. It’s inspiring to me.”
Miley Ray Cyrus (born Destiny Hope Cyrus; November 23, 1992) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and record producer. Noted for her distinctive raspy voice, her music spans a range of styles, from pop and country pop to hip hop, experimental and rock. Cyrus is the best-selling female artist born in the 1990s, and has attained the most US Billboard 200 top-ten albums in the 21st century by a female artist, with a total of thirteen entries. Her personal life, public image, and performances have often sparked controversy and received widespread media coverage.
Cyrus, a daughter of country music singer Billy Ray Cyrus, emerged as a teen idol while portraying the title character of the Disney Channel television series Hannah Montana (2006–2011). As Hannah Montana, she attained two number-one and three top-ten soundtracks on the US Billboard 200, including the US Billboard Hot 100 top-ten single “He Could Be the One”. Cyrus’ own discography includes the US number-one albums Meet Miley Cyrus (2007), Breakout (2008), and Bangerz (2013); the top-five releases Can’t Be Tamed (2010), Younger Now (2017), Plastic Hearts (2020) and the free SoundCloud album Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz (2015). Cyrus’ EPs The Time of Our Lives (2009) and She Is Coming (2019) also debuted in the top-five. Plastic Hearts is Cyrus’ most acclaimed album on Metacritic and became her first entry on the Billboard Rock Chart, debuting atop the chart. Its lead single “Midnight Sky” ignited her commercial resurgence. Her other singles include the US top ten-charting “See You Again”, “7 Things”, “The Climb”, “Party in the U.S.A.”, “Can’t Be Tamed”, “We Can’t Stop”, “Malibu”; and the chart-topping “Wrecking Ball”. “Party in the U.S.A.” was certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), one of the rare songs in history to achieve this milestone.
Cyrus’ career accolades include entries on the Time 100 list in 2008 and 2014, MTV’s Best Artist of 2013 Award, and placement on Billboard’s Greatest of All Time Artists Chart in 2019. She is often regarded as one of the few examples of successful child actors-turned-singers.
As an actress, Cyrus has made appearances in the animated film Bolt (2008) and the feature films Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009) and The Last Song (2010). On television, Cyrus served as a coach on the singing competition series The Voice across two seasons and starred in an episode of the Netflix series Black Mirror (2019). Cyrus is an advocate for animal rights and adopted a vegan lifestyle in 2014; she founded the non-profit Happy Hippie Foundation in 2014, which focuses on youth homelessness and the LGBT community.