One year after hinting that new music was on its way, Miley Cyrus made good on the promise by releasing “Midnight Sky.” The first track from her forthcoming She Is Miley Cyrus album arrived on Aug. 14, and it seems to be the Disney Channel alum’s farewell to all her past loves (which include Liam Hemsworth, Kaitlynn Carter and now, apparently, Cody Simpson). “I was born to run, I don’t belong to anyone, oh no / Don’t need to be loved by you / Fire in my lungs, can’t fight the Devil on my tongue, oh no / Don’t need to be loved by you,” Miley sings, and this assertion of independence is reflected in the song’s music video, in which Miley unapologetically strips down while shifting between looks that look straight from the era of ’80s glam rock.
The video is extra personal for Miley, since she directed it herself. It was the pop star’s first time ever directing a music video for one of her own songs, and it’s easy to see why she decided to take creative reign over the visuals. After all, the fallout of her divorce from Liam played a role in the track. “I felt like my story and my narrative had kind of been told for me over the past year. Obviously, I went through an extremely public breakup and, even more than that, a divorce, and with someone that I had been with for ten years. That narrative and that experience of ten years was told for me by one day from the eyes of a helicopter,” Miley admitted as to what led to the creation of “Midnight Sky” while speaking with Zane Lowe on Apple Music’s New Music Daily.
“I felt kind of villainized,” she continued. “I also felt like I kind of shut down, because it was kind of, respectfully, below me to engage with the press and the media at that time. It felt like I would rather be able to articulate this experience in a poetic way that also I can put back into my art. I never really have engaged. I’ve only played with the public and the perception in that way. So for this record, actually, the way that I even wrote ‘Midnight Sky’ was I was prepping to create a video for another song. I wrote and directed and conceptualized the video for ‘Midnight Sky,’ but it started because I was doing that with another song. Then Andrew Watt, my creative partner, came over and played me this track, and I scratched everything and said, ‘I’ve got to write this. This is the foundation of which I feel like I can lay my story on top of that.’”
Just hours before Miley’s new song was released, something just as major hit the news circuit: a report claiming that she had broken up Cody. They had “officially called it quits” within “the last few weeks” after 10 months of dating, sources told TMZ. Neither Miley nor Cody has spoken on the matter, and the report was a shocker, considering that Cody had just declared his “love” for Miley on Aug. 1.
But, back to the music! “Meet Miley Cyrus….. again,” Miley tweeted on Aug. 4, sharing a clip from her 2008 music video, “Start All Over.” Miley also included the hashtags “#SheIsComing” and “#ButForRealThisTime,” referencing her campaign from last year. In 2019, Miley announced she was going to release three EPs – She Is Coming, She Is Here, and She Is Everything – that would make up the full-length record, She Is Miley Cyrus. Only the first one, She Is Coming, was released. The track was described as “an unkempt little EP that tries to cram her wild oeuvre, from molly to Mark Ronson, into just six songs” by Rolling Stone. It’s possible that this three-EP project was meant to sum up Miley’s past, present, and future. But, for whatever reason(s), the second and third installments never came out.
2019 was the year that Miley’s marriage to Liam fell apart, and the on-again/off-again lovers appeared to say good-bye for good. She seemingly addressed the breakup on “Slide Away,” the song she released in August of that year. While teasing “Midnight Sky,” Miley hinted that this song might also be about that relationship. While taking a selfie video of her listening to the synth-pop track, fans picked apart the lyrics, per Billboard. “It’s been a long night and the mirror is tellin’ me to go home/ But it’s been a long time since I’ve felt this good on my own/ Nine years went by with my hands tied up in your ropes/ Forever and ever, no more.”
Musically, Miley has spent 2020 paying homage to some of music’s giants. She covered The Beatles’ “Help” in an empty Rose Bowl Stadium as part of Global Citizen’s “Global Goal: Unite for Out Future.” She and her now possible ex, Cody, teamed up to deliver an acoustic version of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” on an April episode of Saturday Night Live. She also broke out “The Climb” for the Class of 2020, performing her song for the first time in two years for the #Gradutation2020 virtual event.
Regarding her romantic life, Miley had weathered quarantine with help from Cody (their current living situation is unknown, however, considering their breakup). Miley recently confirmed the split, sharing during her August 13 Instagram Live session, “For right now, two halves can’t make a whole, and we’re individually just working on ourselves, becoming the people that we want to be. Like everybody else at this age, we’re just deciding who we want to be with our lives, what we want to do with our lives,” the singer continued. “And so, don’t make it some drama story if next week we hang out and we’re getting pizza. We’ve been friends for 10 years, and we’re going to continue to be friends. Just don’t make it something that it is not.”
Earlier in their quarantines together, the singers “passed with flying colors,” a source told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY in May, adding that they have been “able to really focus all their energy on positive, healthy stuff.” While avoiding drugs and alcohol, the two have stayed fit by training in their home gym and, in Miley’s case, making use of all this free time to work on music.