During her Thursday night (Aug. 24) ABC concert special Endless Summer Vacation: Continued (Backyard Sessions), the 30-year-old superstar looked back on a 2013 incident between herself and the late Sinead O’Connor, who criticized Cyrus in an open letter for being nude in her “Wrecking Ball” music video. The “Nothing Compares 2 U” star speculated that Cyrus doesn’t “care” for herself, and made her creative choice to look “cool” for the industry and for men. “You are worth more than your body or your sexual appeal,” O’Connor wrote.
At the time, Cyrus shared a screenshot of O’Connor tweets written in a fragile mental state, comparing her to Amanda Bynes, who was struggling with her own mental health as well. O’Connor replied, “You have posted today tweets of mine which are two years old, which were posted by me when I was unwell and seeking help so as to make them look like they are recent… In doing so you mock myself and Amanda Bynes for having suffered with mental health issues and for having sought help. I mean really really… who advises you?”
“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 during the ABC special. “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.”
She continued, “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. God bless Sinead O’Connor, for real, in all seriousness.”
O’Connor died in July at age 56. In her special, Cyrus performed her Endless Summer Vacation track “Wonder Woman,” with a title card dedicating the song to O’Connor.
Listen to Cyrus’ new single “Used to Be Young” below.