By Scott T. Sterling
Even more than perpetual press-magnet Kanye West, no one in music generated more controversy over the course of 2013 than Miley Cyrus.
From her twerk-powered performance with Robin Thicke at this year’s MTV VMA’s to her very naked music video for the single “Wrecking Ball,” Cyrus has evolved from precocious tween Disney star to one of music’s most divisive (and popular) superstars.
In a new interview with the New York Times, Cyrus held court on her controversial year, discussing a range of subjects including drugs, taking control of her career and race, with many critics taking the singer to task for the appropriation of African-American cultural cues.
“I didn’t know that I was going to be the only one that was really going to push it like that,” she said in regards to her performance dominating the post-VMAs conversation. “It’s actually really funny how many people could watch my performance, and they think it was, like, sexist and degrading to women, and somehow people found that it was racist, which I couldn’t even wrap my mind around. Because I’m like: ‘How do I win? If I have white dancers, then I’m racist. If I have black girl dancers, then I’m racist.’ We know we’re not racist, and I know I’m not putting down women.”
Going on to talk about her influence on younger pop stars, such as Ariana Grande, and how many of her peers are still fighting for the same degree of career freedom that Cyrus currently enjoys, the “Adore You” singer looks forward to the day when another artist relieves her of the crown of pop music’s most controversial character.
“I can’t wait to collab with whoever the hell that is, you know?” she enthused. “I’m like, whoever that is, I’m going to ride that wave.”
Read the entire interview at the New York Times.