Miley Cyrus Reveals How She Wants to Be Remembered

Miley Cyrus knows what she wants her legacy to be — and at the same time, she doesn’t. During an interview with Rolling Stone, she discussed the concept of her legacy at length. In the interview, she revealed how she wants her legacy to resemble that of Blondie’s frontwoman, Debbie Harry.

Miley Cyrus near a guitar
Miley Cyrus | 2020 Billboard Women In Music/Getty Images for Billboard

What Miley Cyrus wants her legacy to be

Cyrus certainly has a legacy. For example, her performance at the 2013 VMAs, where she twerked on Robin Thicke, is one of the most famous pop culture moments of the 2010s. In addition, she blazed a trail for other Disney Channel stars of her generation like Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez to pursue pop stardom. That’s not even discussing her actual hits. This raises an interesting question: What does Cyrus want her legacy to be?

During a Rolling Stone interview, Brittany Spanos asked Cyrus that precise question. “I want to lay down a new stone for a path for the next generation of artists, philanthropists, the way that Debbie Harry has done for me,” Cyrus said. “I’d like to be known as someone that created something that didn’t quite exist, or that I delivered something that no one knew that they needed or wanted, but when they had it felt that they couldn’t live without it. That’s what I would want as an artist.”

Blondie’s “Heart of Glass”

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Has she impacted the world the way she wanted to?

So has Cyrus blazed a path for other musicians? She definitely has –but perhaps not artistically. According to MTV News, Troye Sivan was a big fan of Hannah Montana as a teen. Cyrus released a song called “My Heart Beats for Love” which was dedicated to her gay friend. Sivan, who is also gay, found inspiration in the song, feeling that even if the entire world rejected him for his sexuality, he could be friends with Cyrus. Cyrus did have an impact on Sivan, even if she didn’t inspire one of his songs or music videos.

Cyrus’ work also had a different impact on the world — a linguistic impact to be precise. Shaking one’s rear provocatively isn’t exactly new. However, Cyrus’ dance moves in the video for her single “We Can’t Stop” and at the 2013 MTV VMAs made the concept of twerking more widely known. According to the Los Angeles Times, Oxford Dictionaries Online added the word “twerk” in 2013 because Cyrus made the term buzzworthy. Cyrus didn’t simply influence pop culture — she inspired the words we use.

“My Heart Beats for Love”

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Miley Cyrus changes her mind

At one moment, it seemed Cyrus was certain what she wanted her legacy to be. However, immediately afterward, she changed her mind. 

“I have no idea how the f*ck I’d want to be remembered,” Cyrus told Rolling Stone. “I’m a pretty wicked daughter. I think I’m f*cking very dedicated to my family. I feel like I’ve fought for what I really wanted, whether that’s fighting for rights, or against injustices, working with Happy Hippie Foundation. I’d want that to be a priority. I’d want to have been a trailblazer, but I think it’s really hard talking about it because I’m still so here with so much left to do.” No matter what Cyrus’ ultimate legacy is, she has impacted the world — sometimes, oddly enough, in the realm of linguistics.