Miley Cyrus’ ABC special, “Endless Summer Vacation: Continued (Backyard Sessions),” which aired on ABC on Aug. 24, featured several emotional moments in reflection of the singer’s decades-long career in the entertainment industry. One of the many contemplations saw Cyrus touching on her infamous feud with the late Sinéad O’Connor over her criticism of Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” music video which featured the singer posing nude.
Cyrus told ABC she expected there “to be controversy and backlash,” after she released the video nearly 10 years ago but did not anticipate “other women to put me down or turn on me, especially women that had been in my position before,” she recalled.
In 2013, in anticipation of the single’s visual counterpart, Cyrus was quoted saying that she’d been inspired by O’Connor’s visuals for her 1990 hit “Nothing Compares 2 U.” O’Connor replied to the then-20-year-old Cyrus “in the spirit of motherliness and with love,” with an open letter that advised Cyrus that it wasn’t “‘cool’ to be naked and licking sledgehammers in your videos”, adding that it would “obscure your talent by allowing yourself to be pimped” by the industry. “None of the men ogling you give a shit about you either, do not be fooled,” she wrote.
In response, Cyrus shared a screenshot of concerning tweets written by O’Connor and compared the singer to former Nickelodeon child star Amanda Bynes, who was publicly struggling with her mental health at the time. O’Connor hit back: “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?”
Almost 10 years after the music video’s release, and the subsequent feud, Cyrus said, “I had no idea bout 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 and all that I saw was that another woman had told me that this idea was not my idea.”
She continued, “I had 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 concluded, before adding: “God bless Sinéad O’Connor for real, in all seriousness.”
Cyrus then performed her song “Wonder Woman” and dedicated the song to O’Connor. The Irish singer died at age 56 in late July and her cause of death has yet to be confirmed.
O’Connor was outspoken about her decades-long struggle with mental illness. She wrote on her Facebook page earlier last month that she had moved back to London after 23 years and was finishing an album to be released next year. She also shared plans to tour in Australia and New Zealand in 2024, and in Europe, the United States and other territories in 2025.