Miley Cyrus Wasn’t Crying About Liam Hemsworth in the ‘Wrecking Ball’ Music Video

Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” is one of her biggest hits, and one of the most emotional songs in her discography. Despite once saying the events surrounding that song feel “like a lifetime ago,” the Plastic Hearts singer cried while singing it during her Super Bowl pregame show on Feb. 7, saying, “It never gets easier.”

“Wrecking Ball” wasn’t written about Liam Hemsworth, but it’s tied to him now. Despite its connection to her ex-husband, Cyrus wasn’t crying about him in the infamous music video.

Closeup shot of Miley Cyrus crying in the 'Wrecking Ball' music video | YouTube
Closeup shot of Miley Cyrus crying in the ‘Wrecking Ball’ music video | YouTube

Miley Cyrus cried while singing ‘Wrecking Ball’ at her Super Bowl pregame show

Cyrus was overcome with emotion while singing “Wrecking Ball” during her Super Bowl performance. The song has taken on new meaning for her in the wake of her divorce from Hemsworth, and she told the audience that the stress of the last few years (she got divorced and went through two breakups, and then the pandemic happened) still gets to her.

“Singing that song, ‘Wrecking Ball,’ about feeling completely broken and shattered … everyone suffering is different, even everyone’s threshold of pain,” she said. “I wear a lot of glitter and I wear a lot of armor and I also wear my heart on my sleeve, and it gets broken a lot.”

While it’s a breakup anthem, Cyrus was still engaged to Hemsworth when “Wrecking Ball” was released. It wasn’t intended to be her own breakup anthem, rather a universal one. But the song became tied to Hemsworth in the public’s eye. And it clearly has an emotional meaning for her.

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth pose side-by-side at the Saint Laurent Men's Spring-Summer 2020 runway show in Malibu, California, on June 6, 2019 | Kyle Grillot/AFP via Getty Images
Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth pose side-by-side at the Saint Laurent Men’s Spring-Summer 2020 runway show in Malibu, California, on June 6, 2019 | Kyle Grillot/AFP via Getty Images

Who did Miley Cyrus write ‘Wrecking Ball’ about?

Cyrus told Ellen DeGeneres in October 2013, just one month after the announcement of her split, that Bangerz ended up telling the story of her relationship and breakup, although it wasn’t intended to.

“I feel like you can really find this arc of growth,” she said, adding, “It’s a real story.”

The story of “Wrecking Ball,” as Cyrus described in her Super Bowl show, is about feeling broken and shattered. Naturally, she cried throughout the music video to tell that story, but despite what fans may believe, those aren’t tears over Hemsworth you’re seeing.


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Who is Miley Cyrus crying about in the ‘Wrecking Ball’ music video?

The Hannah Montana alum created an Instagram Live series during the coronavirus (COVID-19) quarantine called “Bright Minded,” during which she interviewed celebrity friends and tried to lift viewers’ spirits.

In an April 2020 episode, Cyrus talked about “Wrecking Ball” and what she was actually crying about while filming those memorable closeups. She said:

“When I did ‘Wrecking Ball,’ everyone thought I was crying over my breakup. But I was actually crying over my dog [who had just died]. And the whole time I was shooting [the video], there was a photo of my dog right underneath the camera. I couldn’t relate to the song that day but it doesn’t matter…I gotta find it. What’s something that really makes me feel like broken pieces? And it was losing my dog.”

The dog who passed was her pup, Lila, whom she adopted in 2011. In 2013, she told Rolling Stone the pain in the video was real, it was just brought up by thinking about her dog dying.

“That was real,” she said of her crying. “My dog just passed away.”

She also reflected on the track in August 2020 to celebrate its seventh anniversary.

“7 years of Wrecking Ball. My concept of time is completely askew. Feels like a lifetime ago… but somehow only yesterday,” she wrote on Instagram. “Thank you for all the support you gave me then and of course the love you’re continuing to show my art today. Forever grateful & inspired.”