This past June, Miley Cyrus announced that she was celebrating six months of sobriety. In a raw new interview, Apple Music’s Zane Lowe asked the pop star about that journey, and she admitted that she “fell off” during the pandemic but was now “two weeks sober.” She also delved into the decision to sober up in the first place, saying that once she turned 27 she “had to protect myself” so as not to end up like other superstars who died at 27, including Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Jim Morrison, and Jimi Hendrix.
Cyrus said that “like a lot of people,” she struggled during the pandemic. “I fucked up, I wasn’t sober the last couple of months. And to me it was a fuck up because I’m not a moderation person.” She also spoke about her struggles with alcohol, or more specifically, the choices she makes after consuming alcohol. “I don’t have a problem with drinking. I have a problem with the decisions I make once I go pass that level…” She added, “I’ve just been wanting to wake up 100%, 100% of the time.”
It’s important to Cyrus to be honest about her progress, both with herself and with her fans, because as she sees it, self-reflection is the key to growing from the experience. She explained,
“I would never sit here and go, ‘I’ve been fucking sober.’ I didn’t. I fell off and I realized that I now am back on sobriety, two weeks sober, and I feel like I really accepted that time. One of the things I’ve used is, ‘Don’t get furious, get curious’. So don’t be mad at yourself, but ask yourself, ‘What happened?'”
As a child of a country megastar, Cyrus has always been hyper-aware of all the artists who came before. She said that the impulse towards sobriety came as she approached her 27th birthday. Cyrus did not want to become the next member of the so-called “27 Club” of artists who died at that age. “27 to me was a year that I really had to protect myself,” she said. “That actually really made me want to get sober, because we’ve lost so many icons at 27. It’s a very pivotal time. You go into that next chapter or this is it for you.”
Elsewhere in the interview she spoke about the fire that destroyed her home, how the book The Untethered Soul developed her perspective, and why she stopped believing in karma after Donald Trump became president. Check it out below.
As for her “next chapter,” age 27 has been one of the most artistically exciting years of her long career. She’s already given two of the most thrilling performances of the quarantine: a brand-new edition of MTV Unplugged, and a powerhouse set for #SOSFest. Her new album Plastic Hearts arrives this Friday, November 27th. So far she’s shared the singles “Midnight Sky” and “Prisoner” featuring Dua Lipa. She’s also working on a Metallica covers album, which Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford says he “can’t wait” to hear.
Editor’s Note: Check out Going There with Dr. Mike, our new mental health and wellness podcast featuring illuminating and honest discussions with some of your favorite artists.