Miley Cyrus finds herself in a contemplative mood as she looks back on her journey under the spotlight. The songstress unveiled her latest track, “Used to Be Young,” marking her first release following her LP “Endless Summer Vacation” that dropped in March.
The heartfelt song released on Friday draws its inspiration from the intense scrutiny Cyrus has faced. The chorus echoes her introspective sentiments: “I know I used to be crazy, I know I used to be fun. You say I used to be wild, I say I used to be young. You tell me time has done changed me, That’s fine, I’ve had a good run.”
In a statement issued after the song’s debut, Cyrus opened up about its meaning, saying, “This song is about honoring who we’ve been, loving who we are, and celebrating who we will become. I feel proud when reflecting on my past and optimistic when thinking about the future.” She went on, expressing her gratitude to her devoted fans who make her dreams a reality and dedicating the song to them.
The accompanying video features Cyrus standing alone in a dimly lit setting. Talking about the video, she shared, “It’s super emotional because I am kind of a mini-me of my mom and I could see her inside of the camera by using a technology where I could livestream with my mom from inside of the camera. So, we could see each other and as she was dancing it just made me cry, it made me laugh, it brought up so many real emotions and I think it’s really letting people into true emotion, which I don’t feel we get to see very much these days.”
In the days leading up to the release, Cyrus has provided insights into the significance of the song in her personal journey. Notably, she highlighted the release date, August 25th, as historically important to her and her career. She reminisced about the final episode of “Hannah Montana,” stating, “Hannah is for kids… Miley is for grown-ass men in heels.”
The lyrics of the song capture Cyrus reflecting on the judgments she faced during her teenage years in the spotlight. She spoke candidly about the challenges and harsh critiques she endured while starring in “Hannah Montana” and throughout her early career. Looking back, she acknowledged the undue judgment she experienced and how differently she would treat a child now that she’s an adult.
A significant portion of Cyrus’s career was marked by controversies during her “Bangerz” album era, including the polarizing “Wrecking Ball” video and the infamous twerk session with Robin Thicke at the 2013 VMAs. She also faced backlash for a Vanity Fair cover shoot by Annie Leibovitz in 2008. Reflecting on that period, she explained that she sought attention to differentiate herself from the character she portrayed, driven by the need to establish her identity as a young adult.
“Used to Be Young” arrives five months after the release of her previous album “Endless Summer Vacation,” which featured standout tracks like “Flowers,” “River,” and “Thousand Miles” featuring Brandi Carlile. As Miley Cyrus continues to navigate her artistic journey, her music remains a reflection of her growth, experiences, and unfiltered emotions.