SINEAD O’CONNOR’S OPEN LETTER TO MILEY CYRUS

October 5, 2013 – 4:55 am


After the 20-year-old Miley Cyrus claimed that Wrecking Ball’s controversial video was inspired by the Prince-penned Nothing Compares 2 U - which Sinead O’Conner turned into a hit in 1990, the Irish singer was compelled to warn Cyrus that she is being “pimped” by the pop industry. This is the open letter which O’Connor posted on her blog.

Dear Miley,

I wasn’t going to write this letter, but today I’ve been dodging phone calls from various newspapers who wished me to remark upon your having said in Rolling Stone your Wrecking Ball video was designed to be similar to the one for Nothing Compares… So this is what I need to say… And it is said in the spirit of motherliness and with love.

I am extremely concerned for you that those around you have led you to believe, or encouraged you in your own belief, that it is in any way “cool” to be naked and licking sledgehammers in your videos. It is in fact the case that you will obscure your talent by allowing yourself to be pimped, whether it’s the music business or yourself doing the pimping.

Nothing but harm will come in the long run, from allowing yourself to be exploited, and it is absolutely NOT in ANY way an empowerment of yourself or any other young women, for you to send across the message that you are to be valued (even by you) more for your sexual appeal than your obvious talent.

I am happy to hear I am somewhat of a role model for you and I hope that because of that you will pay close attention to what I am telling you.

The music business doesn’t give a shit about you, or any of us. They will prostitute you for all you are worth, and cleverly make you think it’s what YOU wanted… and when you end up in rehab as a result of being prostituted, “they” will be sunning themselves on their yachts in Antigua, which they bought by selling your body and you will find yourself very alone.

None of the men ogling you give a shit about you either, do not be fooled. Many’s the woman mistook lust for love. If they want you sexually that doesn’t mean they give a fuck about you. All the more true when you unwittingly give the impression you don’t give much of a fuck about yourself. And when you employ people who give the impression they don’t give much of a fuck about you either. No one who cares about you could support your being pimped… and that includes you yourself.

Yes, I’m suggesting you don’t care for yourself. That has to change. You ought be protected as a precious young lady by anyone in your employ and anyone around you, including you. This is a dangerous world. We don’t encourage our daughters to walk around naked in it because it makes them prey for animals and less than animals, a distressing majority of whom work in the music industry and its associated media.

You are worth more than your body or your sexual appeal. The world of showbiz doesn’t see things that way, they like things to be seen the other way, whether they are magazines who want you on their cover, or whatever… Don’t be under any illusions… ALL of them want you because they’re making money off your youth and your beauty… which they could not do except for the fact your youth makes you blind to the evils of show business. If you have an innocent heart you can’t recognise those who do not.

I repeat, you have enough talent that you don’t need to let the music business make a prostitute of you. You shouldn’t let them make a fool of you either. Don’t think for a moment that any of them give a flying fuck about you. They’re there for the money… we’re there for the music. It has always been that way and it will always be that way. The sooner a young lady gets to know that, the sooner she can be REALLY in control.

You also said in Rolling Stone that your look is based on mine. The look I chose, I chose on purpose at a time when my record company were encouraging me to do what you have done. I felt I would rather be judged on my talent and not my looks. I am happy that I made that choice, not least because I do not find myself on the proverbial rag heap now that I am almost 47 yrs of age… which unfortunately many female artists who have based their image around their sexuality, end up on when they reach middle age.

Real empowerment of yourself as a woman would be to in future refuse to exploit your body or your sexuality in order for men to make money from you. I needn’t even ask the question… I’ve been in the business long enough to know that men are making more money than you are from you getting naked. It’s really not at all cool. And it’s sending dangerous signals to other young women. Please in future say no when you are asked to prostitute yourself. Your body is for you and your boyfriend. It isn’t for every spunk-spewing dirtbag on the net, or every greedy record company executive to buy his mistresses diamonds with.

As for the shedding of the Hannah Montana image… whoever is telling you getting naked is the way to do that does absolutely NOT respect your talent, or you as a young lady. Your records are good enough for you not to need any shedding of Hannah Montana. She’s waaaaaaay gone by now… Not because you got naked but because you make great records.

Whether we like it or not, us females in the industry are role models and as such we have to be extremely careful what messages we send to other women. The message you keep sending is that it’s somehow cool to be prostituted… it’s so not cool Miley… it’s dangerous. Women are to be valued for so much more than their sexuality. We aren’t merely objects of desire. I would be encouraging you to send healthier messages to your peers… that they and you are worth more than what is currently going on in your career. Kindly fire any motherfucker who hasn’t expressed alarm, because they don’t care about you.

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MILEY CYRUS RESPONDS TO SINEAD O’CONNOR’S OPEN LETTER

Miley Cyrus has responded to Sinead O’Connor’s open letter warning her not to let the music industry make a “prostitute” out of her.

Writing on Twitter, Cyrus compared O’Connor - who has openly battled with mental health issues - to the actress Amanda Bynes, who was hospitalised after a mental breakdown earlier this year. “Before Amanda Bynes… There was…” she posts before an image of Tweets sent previously by O’Connor asking for psychiatric help.

She then posted a follow-up image of Sinead O’Connor’s controversial Saturday Night Live appearance from 1992 during which she tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II.

O’Connor wrote an open letter to Cyrus after the pop-star cited the Irish singer as an inspiration for her explicit video ‘Wrecking Ball’, in which she swings naked from a metal demolition ball. The video followed her controversial performance at the MTV VMAs during which she twerked for ‘Blurred Lines’ singer Robin Thicke. - NME (click here for more)

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SINEAD THREATENS LEGAL ACTION IF MILEY DOESN’T APOLOGIZE

Sinead O’Connor has reacted forcefully to online taunting by Miley Cyrus in the wake of her impassioned letter to the singer, demanding an apology and threatening legal action for potentially damaging her career.

Following O’Connor’s much-discussed open letter, in which she warned the young singer of allowing herself “to be pimped” by the music business, Cyrus responded by mocking O’Connor’s mental health issues of two years ago via screengrabs on Twitter. “Before there was Amanda Bynes,” Cyrus wrote of the actress who has also battled mental health issues.

Hours later, O’Connor penned a second letter slamming Cyrus for posting the two-year-old tweets when “I was unwell and seeking help” in a way that made them appear recent. She called Cyrus out for specifically referencing the troubled Bynes.

“I mean really really… who advises you?” she asks incredulously. “Have you any idea how stupid and dangerous it is to mock people for suffering illness? You will yourself one day suffer such illness, that is without doubt. The course you have set yourself upon can only end in that, trust me.”

O’Connor goes on to call Cyrus’ flippant attitude “dangerous and irresponsible” and a bad example to young women. “Have you no sense of danger at all? Or responsibility? Remove your tweets immediately or you will hear from my lawyers,” she warns. “Mockery causes deaths. Period. It is an unacceptable form of bullying, no matter who it is doing the bullying.”

In her first and only response to the controversy on Twitter, Cyrus answers an offer to a meeting that O’Connor made in her initial letter. “Sinead. I don’t have time to write you an open letter cause I’m hosting & performing on SNL this week. So if you’d like to meet up and talk lemme know in your next letter.”

Cyrus’ note inspired a forceful third letter from O’Connor, posted again to her website. In it, O’Connor doubles down in her defense of Bynes (”an entirely innocent party… who did nothing to deserve your abuse”).

“You can take five minutes today between g-string fuckin’ changes to publicly apologize and remove your abusive tweets,” she writes. “If you do not then you don’t give a shit who you mock and what damage you do by being so ignorant.”

O’Connor reiterates that if Cyrus does not apologize, she will bring about legal proceedings “since it is extremely hard to be given work when people think one is suffering from mental illness.” - Rolling Stone (click here for more)

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  1. 12 Responses to “SINEAD O’CONNOR’S OPEN LETTER TO MILEY CYRUS”

  2. you know Miley, you just might want to reflect on Sineads letter a little bit. you won`t always be 20 and popular.honest.
    obviously she has a concern for you and in your immature attitude you seem to find something hilarious about that.
    I`ll wager five years from now when you are wondering where everyone went you will have completely forgotten this sage advice from an already experienced music personna. too bad that youth is wasted on the young .

    By sluggo on Oct 5, 2013

  3. What Sluggo said.

    It also reminds me of what Joni Mitchell once said in an interview:

    “Making music is great. The exploitation of it is horrible. And I think you’ve got to be hard as nails. I think it’s degrading, humiliating. Whereas Madonna flirts with it. And perhaps that bravado is in some way to be applauded, but at what cost to her soul, is my question.”

    By steve mc on Oct 5, 2013

  4. – Annette Funicello recalling the advice from original mentor Walt Disney, when she graduated from the “Mickey Mouse Club” to the beach movies. “Mr. Disney said to me one day, ‘Annette, I have a favor to ask of you. I know all the girls are wearing bikinis, but you have an image to uphold. I would appreciate it if you would wear a one-piece suit.’ I did, and I never regretted it.”
    There is a reason we care about certain artists years after the high point of their carriers. Look at the response BigO got from the news of Linda Ronstadt’s diagnoses of Parkinson’s. Do you think we will still care for the twerkers in years to come or laugh like we do at a Lindsy Lohan or a Paris Hilton. Just like in real life-the sluts are a passing fancy, the real women you brought home to meet your family.

    By sking on Oct 5, 2013

  5. Agree with Sluggo, steve mc, and sking. Too bad Miley can’t pull her eyes off herself for a second to just look around and see that she’s headed for a fall quicker than others before her, and that she’s blind to it right now. Even Katy Perry seems to be moderating a bit. I’m afraid that Miley thinks that, deep down, it is all she really has to offer. Extreme actions come from extreme flaws in character. Karen Carpenter’s death came from ONE COMMENT made at a concert from one jerk who said she had a fat ass. She starved herself so bad that she couldn’t save herself even when she got it together. Her heart was already too damaged for her to survive. Other things were at play, but that was the trigger to her doom. I hope and pray that these young women get it together and listen to their hurt peers and realize the truth that Sinead was laying it out there, a life preserver. Sinead may have her spiritual issues with the Catholic church, but even as a cussin’ hurt soul, she was doing God’s work there, even if she and Miley don’t know it yet. In the Bible, it says that God uses even unbelievers to bring glory to himself. And in Matthew chapter 5, blessed are the peacemakers. Listen up Miley, please just listen to some wisdom.

    By 5yrsnojob on Oct 5, 2013

  6. What will Miley be remembered for? wearing no clothes,trying to sound like Rihanna,grinding,acting gangsta and sticking her tongue out.

    Sinead I’m guessing will be remembered for her catalogue of music and her strong views.

    By Daz on Oct 5, 2013

  7. Miley has talent? Wake the F up…

    By RegFCat on Oct 5, 2013

  8. Let’s get one thing straight - we are talking about the difference between the “music business” and “show business”. No true artist should be concerning themselves with show business, and Miley Cyrus is no artist. She’s just the latest in a long line of showbiz money making puppets, and she won’t be the last. Where’s Billy Ray, by the way? Shouldn’t he be offering some helpful, parental advice? His 20 year old daughter is behaving like a porn star for the entertainment of children. I wonder how those children will behave when their of exploitable age…

    By styreneboy on Oct 5, 2013

  9. So sad that trash like this is even considered music. Time to go listen to Abbey Road.

    By Ernie Clark on Oct 5, 2013

  10. [email protected]

    By TDC on Oct 7, 2013

  11. I totally agree with all the comments here. It’s a gimmick plain and simple. Madonna, Spears, Lady Gaga? It seems that being rude, lewd, vulgar, almost naked and crude is considered ‘entertainment’. How will it be in 20 more years? Probably worse. Sure won’t be wholesome nor entertaining.

    A friend commented to me about 20 years ago that even pre-teen girls are dressing up like sluts — and going to grade school dressed as such is disgusting and only shows how drastically society and proper parenting has slidden.

    Morals? What’s that?

    By datdemdar on Oct 20, 2013

  12. We at AHN celebrate classic rock and Miley’s music will never last long enough in people’s minds to be celebrated as such. Kudos to Sinead for her insights, thoughtfulness and contributions to the MUSIC industry.

    By Patrick Macri on Jan 8, 2014

  13. Thanks for all your replies. I just visited a forum attended by what appeared to be 15-year olds, who all applauded this ‘Miley Cyrus’ girl and reproached Sinéad O’Connor for her warnings. For a while I thought I had gone crazy or at least had become a dinosaur. Thank you for showing that I am not the only dinosaur around, and that dinosaurs can be sometimes right.

    By Hannes Minkema on Mar 29, 2014

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