Miley Cyrus Calls Performing a ‘F*cking Addiction’: ‘I Get To Be Myself in My Fullest Form’

As an actor and musician, Miley Cyrus has a long history of putting on a show. Her recent performances, from her 2020 MTV Music Awards one to her revitalized Backyard Sessions, have shown her talent in a year in which concerts are almost nonexistent. Speaking of her need to be on stage, Cyrus compared singing to addiction.

Miley Cyrus began performing at a young age

Cyrus entered show business as a child. She followed in her father Billy Ray Cyrus’ footsteps and pursued both an acting and a music career. Cyrus became famous for her role on the Disney Channel sitcom Hannah Montana (in which Billy Ray also starred), playing a singer. She also released albums through Disney’s Hollywood Records.

Though Cyrus left Disney behind, she’s remained a performer. She starred in a handful of films, including the drama The Last Song. She’s also appeared in series such as Black Mirror. However, Cyrus is best known for her music, releasing Billboard-charting albums such as Bangerz and hit songs like “Midnight Sky.”

She became known for her use of marijuana

After parting ways with Disney, Cyrus cultivated a more adult image. Part of the way she did this was by speaking openly about her use of substances, most notably marijuana. She earned a reputation for smoking, something that has followed her for many years, and become an advocate for its use.

But Cyrus has gone through periods in which she doesn’t smoke — specifically when she’s writing and recording music. “When I’m just working I don’t think I function at my highest, most intelligent, most being-able-to-be-as-aware-and-as-present, so I don’t smoke when I work,” she told the Sun in 2018.

Cyrus has spoken about addiction in the past

RELATED: Why Miley Cyrus Got ‘Sober Sober’ in 2019: ‘The Thing I Love About It Is Waking up 100%’

In June 2020, Cyrus told Variety that she’d “been sober sober for the past six months.” Though it started for her physical health, she continued for another reason. “I did a lot of family history, which has a lot of addiction and mental health challenges,” Cyrus explained. “By understanding the past, we understand the present and the future much more clearly.”

Another aspect of the artist’s life may have led to her decision to stay clean. Cyrus released the song “Slide Away” following her split from ex-husband Liam Hemsworth. On the track, she sings, “don’t want the whiskey and pills,” which some linked to a rumored history of substance misuse on Hemsworth’s part.

She then called performing ‘a f*cking addiction’

Miley Cyrus performs on day five of Glastonbury Festival on June 30, 2019 in Glastonbury, England.
Miley Cyrus performs on day five of Glastonbury Festival on June 30, 2019 | Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Speaking with designer Rick Owens for Interview Magazine in October 2020, the latter cited called Cyrus’ performing “a powerful blast,” noting, “your songs are tender, but your performances are strong.” She replied, “I usually feel pretty bottled-up, and performing is the only time I get to be myself in my fullest form.”

Cyrus continued, saying, “It’s a f*cking addiction, because when I’m not doing it, I just wish that I was.” But Owens shut down that line of thinking, explaining, “You’re communicating, and everybody on the planet wants to communicate, so it’s not an addiction. And you’ve had an opportunity to be listened to, which is the most satisfying thing in the world.”

How to get help: In the U.S., contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline at 1-800-662-4357.