As she prepares for a long-delayed tour in 2022, singer Miley Cyrus told Interview how Marilyn’s Korean tour of 1954 inspired her own return to the stage after a pandemic-induced hiatus.
“INTERVIEW: You didn’t do any warm-ups or club shows to get your feet wet before Lollapalooza? You just walked right out on that stage for the first time in a year and a half?
CYRUS: Pretty much … It felt like jumping out of an airplane in front of 100,000 people. It brings back that tingle of fear, or maybe anxiety, which I haven’t felt in a while. But it reminded me, again, of how all of that’s erased when you perform. There’s so much less judgment in a live music setting than exists anywhere else at the moment.
INTERVIEW: Especially in a moment like this one. We’ve all been through the craziest 18 months of our lives. Obviously, so many people have been through worse shit than you and I have, but I’m sure you felt the energy flowing through that crowd. It must have been a beautiful moment.
CYRUS: It actually made me think of all the amazing footage and photographs of Marilyn Monroe performing for the troops. I couldn’t stop thinking of that iconic image of her, bringing people hope in the form of sexuality and wit and beauty and joy. But at the same time, she was able to offer that because she was so insulated from the experience that the soldiers were living through. She was this breath of fresh air because she didn’t have the same darkness and pain and death taking over her aura. But in this case, we’ve all been soldiers, in our own way. Of course, as you said, you and I have not had the same pandemic experience as most of the population, because our sanctuaries and our homes are truly safe.
INTERVIEW: Exactly, but even so, we’ve all been in the trenches. How did it feel when you walked out on that stage?
CYRUS: Weirdly, this peace came over me. After the chaos of the last year, it was almost like, ‘This is it? This is what I’m going to feel?’
INTERVIEW: It’s funny you say that, because we’re getting back into the trenches ourselves soon. And obviously, it’s a whole new world out there. We’ve been talking with our team about COVID protocols, and it seems like the safest, most peaceful place you could be these days is onstage. The phone doesn’t ring, nobody can bother you. You’re alone up there.
CYRUS: No politics, no news, no pain.”
Incidentally, Miley was widely compared to Marilyn when she covered German Vogue back in 2014 – although some of us thought she looked more like Madonna on her Blonde Ambition tour. And now for her Plastic Hearts era, Miley’s channelling the original ‘Punk Monroe’, Deborah Harry.