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Sinéad O’Connor has a 1,000-word warning for Miley Cyrus

O'Connor reacts to Cyrus's admission that "Wrecking Ball" was inspired by "Nothing Compares 2 U."


Audra Schroeder


Posted on Oct 3, 2013   Updated on Jun 1, 2021, 5:04 am CDT

Since Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” video was released last month, there have already been countless revisions and reinterpretations. In a recent Rolling Stone interview, Cyrus revealed that her inspiration for the video—in which she licks a hammer, rides a wrecking ball naked, and cries in several up-close shots—was Sinéad O’Connor’s 1990 video for “Nothing Compares 2 U.”

O’Connor, no stranger to controversy, apparently felt the need for some clarification on the matter, and wrote an open letter to Cyrus on her website, in the “spirit of motherliness and with love.” It clocks in at 1,000 words, and she hits on the hand-wringing many in the media have directed towards Cyrus, but also offers her opinion on being a woman in the music industry, and how she can’t allow herself to be “pimped” by executives who could care less about her well-being:

The music business doesn’t give a shit about you, or any of us. They will prostitute you for all you are worth, and cleverly make you think it’s what YOU wanted … and when you end up in rehab as a result of being prostituted, ‘they’ will be sunning themselves on their yachts in Antigua, which they bought by selling your body and you will find yourself very alone.

The rest of the letter takes on a very tough-love tone. O’Connor does go the mom route in several passages, but she also acknowledges Cyrus’s talent:

You are worth more than your body or your sexual appeal. The world of showbiz doesn’t see things that way, they like things to be seen the other way, whether they are magazines who want you on their cover, or whatever … Don’t be under any illusions … ALL of them want you because they’re making money off your youth and your beauty … which they could not do except for the fact your youth makes you blind to the evils of show business. If you have an innocent heart you can’t recognise those who do not.

Then she gets to the real talk portion, and reiterates that getting naked is not the way to shed her more innocent Hannah Montana image:

Real empowerment of yourself as a woman would be to in future refuse to exploit your body or your sexuality in order for men to make money from you. I needn’t even ask the question … I’ve been in the business long enough to know that men are making more money than you are from you getting naked. It’s really not at all cool. And it’s sending dangerous signals to other young women. Please in future say no when you are asked to prostitute yourself. Your body is for you and your boyfriend. It isn’t for every spunk-spewing dirtbag on the net, or every greedy record company executive to buy his mistresses diamonds with.

Read the full letter on Death and Taxes.

H/T Death and Taxes | Screengrab via emimusic/YouTube

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*First Published: Oct 3, 2013, 12:04 pm CDT