Sinead O’Connor’s Open Letter to Miley Cyrus…and Her Response

October 3, 2013

Sinead O’Connor has written an open letter to Miley Cyrus warning her to not let herself be prostituted by the music industry. And Miley Cyrus has responded! Find out about the exchange of words between the iconic Irish singer-songwriter, herself no stranger to controversy, and the would-be bad girl pop music star.

It comes as no surprise that Sinead O’Connor would make a public statement. It was Miley Cyrus herself who said that her ‘Wrecking Ball’ video — yes, it’s controversial, so assume controversy over every public move the former Hannah Montana makes unless otherwise indicated — was inspired by O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” video. It was in that “Rolling Stone” magazine interview that Miley Cyrus made the comparison, which may have been overlooked at the time, as there were so many other quotable quotes, not to mention the topless cover photo.

As every music artist on the planet is already being asked in interviews to comment upon Miley Cyrus’ MTV VMAs performance, it was all the more so for Sinead O’Conner as she had been named-checked. She said in her open letter that was part of her motivation. Most pragmatically we can imagine, after “dodging phone calls from various newspapers” as she puts it.

While of course it’s being reported by some in the media that Sinead O’Connor is “slamming” Miley Cyrus, it’s simply not the case. The 46-year-old music artist addresses the 20-year-old music artist in what she says is “in the spirit of motherliness and with love.”

In part:

The music business doesn’t give a sh– about you, or any of us. They will prostitute you for all you are worth, and cleverly make you think its 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 oggling you give a sh– 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 f— about you. All the more true when you unwittingly give the impression you don’t give much of a f— about yourself. And when you employ people who give the impression they don’t give much of a f— about you either. No one who cares about you could support your being pimped.. and that includes you yourself.

The letter in full is here.

Miley Cyrus’ response to the letter, which runs slightly longer than 1,000 words, is a single Tweet that doesn’t even use up the full 140 characters:

“Before Amanda Bynes…. There was….”

The image is a screenshot of several Tweets from Sinead O’Connor. In some of them O’Connor herself is saying that she needs a psychiatrist. It’s followed by a Tweet with a photo of O’Connor on Saturday Night Live. Yes, that controversial appearance in which she tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II.

Yes, that’s an Amanda Bynes comparison. I think we can register that as a “slam” or what we would otherwise call an ad hominem response. It would appear that the hard-fought, hard-won lessons of female empowerment and artistic independence have been completely lost on the 20-year-old who not long afterwards Tweeted a link to the latest batch of salacious photos of herself taken by Terry Richardson, director of her “Wrecking Ball” video. She is partially nude and topless in some of the NSFW pics.

As the elder artist puts it:

“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.”

It does beg the question, what does Miley Cyrus intend to be doing when she herself is 47? At this rate, one wonders how she will make it to 21. However it may unfold, we will be dragged along as witnesses as we have been since the fateful night of August 25, 2013, the night of her MTV VMAs performance with the twerking, the tongue, the foam No. 1 finger, the teddy bears, and so on and so on.

The Miley Cyrus perpetual news cycle is not yet over. Her new album, ‘Bangerz’ will be released on October 8, closely following her stint as host and musical guest on ‘Saturday Night Live’ on October 5th. So we have days more to slog through, and there will be days after to continue to slog.

Meanwhile, for a much-needed breather, check out the inspiration for “Wrecking Ball,” Sinead O’Connor’s original “Nothing Compares 2 U” video below.

Pictures: PR Photos

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