Miley Cyrus says she was not aware of Sinead O’Connor’s “fragile mental state” when the Irish singer criticised the video to her hit song Wrecking Ball.
The US singer and actress said that at the time she had been “expecting controversy and backlash” for the provocative video, but not from other women who had “been in my position before”.
In a new special, titled Endless Summer Vacation: Continued (Backyard Sessions), Cyrus dedicated a performance of her track Wonder Woman to O’Connor.
Cyrus made reference to O’Connor’s celebrated Nothing Compares 2 U music video in the opening shots of her video for Wrecking Ball, released in 2013.
In response, O’Connor published an open letter to the former Disney star warning her about the dangers of being sexualised in the music industry.
She wrote: “The message you keep sending is that it’s somehow cool to be prostituted… it’s so not cool Miley. It’s dangerous.
“I would be encouraging you to send healthier messages to your peers, that they and you are worth more than what is currently going on in your career.”
O’Connor, described as one of Ireland’s “greatest and most gifted composers, songwriters and performers”, died last month at the age of 56.
In her special, broadcast on US network ABC and streaming service Hulu, Cyrus reflected on the incident.
“At the time when I made Wrecking Ball, I was expecting for there to be controversy and backlash, but I don’t think I expected other women to put me down or turn on TV, especially women that had been in my position before,” she said.
“So this is when I had received an open letter from Sinead O’Connor and I had no idea about 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.
“All that I saw was that another woman had told me that this idea was not my idea, and even if I was convinced that it was, it was still just men-in-power’s idea of me and they had manipulated me to believe that it was my own idea when it never really was.
“It was and it is, and I still love it.”
She continued: “Our younger childhood triggers and traumas come up in weird and odd ways, and I think I just 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 in my own decisions and to have that taken away from me, deeply upset me.”
She added:”God bless Sinead O’Connor for real and all seriousness.”
The documentary then cut to Cyrus singing a rendition of her track Wonder Woman, with the words “dedicated to Sinead O’Connor” briefly appearing onscreen.