Miley Cyrus Is Thankful For Her Breakup With Liam Hemsworth: "We Had to Refall in Love"

Brian Bowen/Billboard Magazine
Brian Bowen/Billboard Magazine

Miley Cyrus is going back to her roots. The singer, who has stayed relatively out of the spotlight in recent months aside from being a judge on The Voice, recently opened up to Billboard magazine about her ever-evolving music, her romance with Liam Hemsworth, and why she's glad she's no longer in her wild phase. And the star, who has also quit smoking weed, revealed that new music is coming very soon. Miley's song "Malibu," which will drop next week, is inspired by her life with the Independence Day: Resurgence actor (they share a home in the California town). See her best quotes from the interview ahead.

  • On her decision to quit smoking: "This is crazy, but I haven't smoked weed in three weeks! It's the longest I've ever [gone without it]. I'm not doing drugs, I'm not drinking, I'm completely clean right now! That was just something that I wanted to do. I like to surround myself with people that make me want to get better, more evolved, open. And I was noticing, it's not the people that are stoned. I want to be super clear and sharp, because I know exactly where I want to be."
  • On if it's been easy to quit: "It's easy, dude. When I want something, it's f*cking easy for me. But if anyone told me not to smoke, I would have not done it. It's because it was on my time. I know exactly where I am right now. I know what I want this record to be. And not in the sense of manipulation — wanting something from my fans or the audience, like some slimy thing — 'How do I get attention?' I never thought about that. Dude, I was shocked that people gave a f*ck about the [2013 MTV Video Music Awards performance with Robin Thicke] — the twerking, the teddy bear. It's a totally different time, and I don't think that would freak people out anymore."

  • On her desire to create change in the world: "I have to ask myself, 'How am I going to create real change?' And not just f*cking preach to the choir anymore. This record is a reflection of the fact that yes, I don't give a f*ck, but right now is not a time to not give a f*ck about people. I'm giving the world a hug and saying, 'Hey, look. We're good — I love you.' And I hope you can say you love me back."
  • On using her voice to bring awareness to issues: "I started Happy Hippie because I never thought we would see this day where you have the Laverne Coxes of the world get not only trans roles, but female roles. And I realized the voice I had. That's why I brought Jesse [Helt, a homeless man, to the 2014 VMAs], because it felt wrong for me to go and get an award, celebrating me getting naked and riding a f*cking wrecking ball around for a day. I mean, what would I have said? 'Thanks, uh... thanks to ['Wrecking Ball' video director] Terry Richardson?' That would have been so weird."

  • On her decision to write her new song "Malibu" about Liam Hemsworth: "They're going to talk about me if I come out of a restaurant with Liam. So why not put the power back in my relationship and say, 'This is how I feel?'"
  • On why they broke up: "I needed to change so much. And changing with someone else not changing like that is too hard. Suddenly you're like, 'I don't recognize you anymore.' We had to refall for each other."

  • On feeling like she doesn't fit in with the country music scene: "I'm down for hanging with Blake Shelton [on The Voice]. I actually want to take advantage of the fact that he's there, [because] his fans don't really take me seriously as a country artist. One, I haven't given them that music. But I've got a tattoo of Johnny Cash's autograph that he gave me when I was a little girl that says, 'I'm in your corner.' Dolly Parton is my f*cking godmother. The fact that country music fans are scared of me, that hurts me. All the nipple pastie sh*t, that's what I did because I felt it was part of my political movement, and that got me to where I am now. I'm evolving, and I surround myself with smart people that are evolved."

  • On her infamous red carpet pose: "I was so embarrassed to be on the red carpet and so many of those f*cking disgusting photographers would tell me to blow a kiss, and that's not me! I don't want to blow you a kiss. I didn't know what to do with my face, so I stuck my tongue out, and it became a rebellious, punk-rock thing."
  • On calming down in recent years: "I love talking to people, and I approach them in a normal, 'Don't treat me different, 'cause I'm not' way. That's what started this evolution for me, getting out of my Dead Petz phase," she said, referring to her 2015 album. "People stare at me anyway, but people stare at me a lot when I'm dressed as a f*cking cat."

  • On gender fluidity: "I'm a little bit boyish. But I can also be super femme and dress as a bunny rabbit. Who I'm with has nothing to do with sex — I'm super open, pansexual, that's just me. I think about being a girl all the time. I'm always like, 'It's weird that I'm a girl, because I just don't feel like a girl, and I don't feel like a boy. I just feel like nothing.'"
  • On what she learned from the presidential election: "I like the way I think right now. But don't Trump supporters like the way they think? So I've also got to be open with the way I approach people with my opinions. That's the only way to make real change. And it's not because I want to sell records! I know now the ways that don't work. Because I went really hard during the election. But at the end of the day, we lost. We won, but because the system is f*cked up, we lost. I thought, 'OK. I learned my lesson on this one.'"