Miley Cyrus: touring isn’t healthy for me ‘it erases my humanity and my connection’

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2023 has been a good year for Miley Cyrus. Her album Endless Summer Vacation was well-received and the single “Flowers” was a runaway hit. Most pop stars of Miley’s status would follow up an album release–especially a successful one–with a tour of some kind, but Miley doesn’t want to. She’s scaled back her touring dates a lot in recent years–she did a five city tour in 2022, and before that her last tour was in 2015. In her ABC special Miley Cyrus: Endless Summer Vacation, she explains her decision not to tour anymore. She says that it’s hard to get enough rest while on tour, and also that it “erases her humanity” to be seen as a “subject” by her fans when she’s performing. Okay, Miley. While there’s a grain of truth in what she’s getting at, she comes off really disconnected from reality.

Miley Cyrus is getting candid about the pitfalls of performing. The 30-year-old pop star says that touring “isn’t healthy for me” as she opens up about the demands of putting on a long-running production.

In her ABC special, Miley Cyrus: Endless Summer Vacation, as documented in her “Used to Be Young” series on TikTok, Cyrus says that serving as a cheerleader before becoming famous set a precedent for the expectations of life on the road.

“Traveling as a cheerleader really set me up for touring,” she shared. “The show or the competition may only be a day, and that’s what people don’t really understand about touring. The show is only 90 minutes, but that’s your life.”

Cyrus said that the wellbeing of the performer is not always paramount to keeping the show moving.

“If you’re performing at a certain level of intensity and excellence, there should be an equal amount of recovery and rest,” she said.

The “Jaded” singer also noted that she struggles to balance her ego with her humanity when constantly entertaining.

“There’s a level of ego that has to play a part that I feel gets overused when I’m on tour. And once that switch is on, it’s hard to turn it off. I think when you’re training your ego every single night to be active, that’s the hardest switch for me to turn off,” she admitted. “Having every day the relationship between you and other humans being subject and observer isn’t healthy for me, because it erases my humanity and my connection. And without my humanity, my connection, I can’t be a songwriter, which is my priority.”

[From Entertainment Tonight]

The part about not getting enough rest on tour? I can completely see that. I think that’s why Taylor Swift did the Eras tour on mostly Fridays and Saturdays. Miley has enough power in the industry to pull off something similar if she wanted to. But the rest of what she says is rather silly. It isn’t automatically egotistical to perform in front of a live audience. I grew up taking theater classes and I liked it because I got to be a storyteller and try on different personalities. Getting attention is fun but it’s not why I liked performing. The fact that Miley says she gets stuck in that ego state is perhaps…unintentionally revealing. It comes off so out of touch for her to talk this way about touring because with the advent of streaming and the decline in record sales, touring is how most musicians make a living. Miley gets to opt out of it because she’s already rich. I really can’t get over her statement that performing in front of an audience causes her to “lose her humanity.” By her logic, the act of singing live is dehumanizing because people are observing her, which is such an overstatement. I get that she’s talking about her own experience, and if she doesn’t want to tour, that’s her right. But it’s off putting how she describes it, when so many other music artists would do anything to have an audience like hers and be able to tour in arenas and stadiums.

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73 Responses to “Miley Cyrus: touring isn’t healthy for me ‘it erases my humanity and my connection’”

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  1. The Hench says:

    Um, so basically Miley is saying that she can’t/won’t tour because she turns into an egotistical diva from the attention given to her by audiences?

    Ok then.

    • SarahLee says:

      Self-awareness is actually a good thing. If she recognizes it and doesn’t like it about herself, then that’s a positive.

  2. shanaynay says:

    I’m sorry, but I am just completely tired and over her shtick. If she hates it so much, exit stage left.

    : -)

    it’s so scary how she looks exactly as her mom!

    • Bee (not THAT Bee) says:

      What is so scary about looking like your mom?! Jeez. There are many other things you could criticize her for, but… looking like her mom is somehow bad?

      As a former band WAG, I can reveal (lol) that she’s right about touring. Touring sucks. It does mess with your sleep, and it’s a completely artificial world. If she can afford not to have to tour, more power to her!

      Also, she IS exiting stage left. I don’t understand these criticisms. She’s literally doing what you want! Dude.

      • shanaynay says:

        You don’t need to understand. These are my opinions. They’re not right or wrong. Just my opinions.

        There is no way she is giving up touring. She loves the spotlight, and in my opinion, I have no doubt she’ll be back.

    • CariBean says:

      She looks more like her mom with each new picture. I keep thinking it is her mom. Who peed in Bee’s cereal?

      • Margo says:

        I was thinking exactly the same thing!! She is certainly a beautiful woman, but she does look well beyond 30. But I guess with the life she has led, she has lived a lot more than most 30-year-olds. I’m really enjoying her music these days.

    • Ameerah M says:

      I was over her schtick years ago. And the buccal fat removal and lip filler she had done definitely makes her look more like her Mom.

    • Memo says:

      Nothing wrong with looking like your mom, but her face has changed a lot lately. If you look at pictures of her at about 19, you wouldn’t guess she’d end up looking like Tish’s twin/little sister.

      Feels like there’s something more changed than just slimmer cheeks. Has she done something to her nose/eyes area that brings out the Tish likeness?

      • Ameerah M says:

        She had lip filler and buccal fat removal.

      • Mustang Sally says:

        I was trying to decide if she had gotten veneers or capped her top front teeth as well. And the center part in her hair & color makes her look like her mom’s twin.

  3. Aggie says:

    Miley was raised in a fishbowl and turned out ok. Although, I’ve heard her interviewed a number of times and she comes across as very self-absorbed.

    • Megan says:

      She has always been full of her self.

      • Michael says:

        Thank You. I 100% agree. Instead of just saying she does not like to tour she has to turn it into some smug, pretentious statement

    • MF says:

      I read somewhere that she did really rigorous, lengthy tours while she was still a minor (like, 16 years old). So while she may seem self-absorbed, I actually think she’s probably right that touring is harmful to her.

  4. JayBlue says:

    I like Miley, but she makes good points very badly. I think she’s trying to say touring turns her into something she doesn’t want to be. Plenty of musicians prefer creating over performing, but don’t have the option to choose one over the other.

    • Pinkosaurus says:

      I agree with your take. I think she explained this poorly. On the road, being treated like a star and meal ticket by hundreds of synchophants whose money depends on getting and keeping her onstage triggers entitled or harmful behaviors in her. She and her team/managers are losing out on huge sums of money by not touring so it’s a big deal that she isn’t.

      I’m happy for her if she’s recognizing it’s healthy for her to stay home with people who treat her like a normal person subject to responsibility and consequences,

    • SarahCS says:

      I also agree, look at what we see time and again with people becoming big stars and ending up dealing with huge drink and drug issues. I can’t imagine the adrenaline rush going out on stage in front of thousands of people all there for YOU. I can completely understand that messing with your head and props to her for acknowledging that and taking steps accordingly.

      Of course she’s coming from a position of massive privilege to be able to make these choices but that’s her world.

      I also can’t get over how much she looks like her mother now and with the blond hair.

    • otaku fairy says:

      Yeah that’s true. I think she’s saying that it puts her mentally in this mode of always being on and always performing rather than just being a person. Considering some of the healthy life choices she’s been making over the past few years, it seems like that’s becoming more important to her as she matures.

    • BlueNailsBetty says:

      I’m probably reading too much into her statement but I can’t help but think what she’s trying to say is that she’s tired of being expected to perform on command.

      Miley grew up in the abusive Disney child star system. Her dad is a bit narcissistic and her mom seems to be a bit of a mess (who hopefully seems to getting better). Miley’s childhood was nothing but “perform on command” and “make money to support your family and all of these crew who depend on you” along with shitty family dynamics and who knows what kind of sexualization (or opposite so she’d continue to appeal to young girls) she was subjected to. Add in very little education and yeah, she went through some things.

      I wonder if her reluctance to perform a tour is simply just her traumatized inner child not wanting to be a performing monkey anymore*. Maybe she loves to sing and share those songs with the world but she doesn’t want to have to perform them live night after night.

      *A lot of people love performing and that’s great for them and the fans. I’m talking about people who grew up in the abusive Hollywood system not wanting to perform.

      • Mustang Sally says:

        Your points are excellent and most likely have a ring of truth to her. After reading your take and re-reading hers, I had to wonder if she was trying to hint at your take without saying it outright.

      • cdnKitty says:

        @Bluenailsbetty – I think you’re bang on, and to add, I think Miley no longer wants to be a commodity, but instead to remain a person. The effects of capitalism on the commodification of people removes the humanity from people and makes them into things.

        It’s not pretentious to feel the way she does, especially considering how she grew up. I wish more people took a bigger view on ‘the grind’ and realized what it’s doing to all of us.

    • Abby says:

      Agree. I get her point, I just think she didn’t say it very well.

  5. Anna says:

    I mean, I respect that she knows herself. She’s in a unique position to avoid becoming someone she doesn’t like as a result of being on tour, and that’s fine. Good for her.

  6. Nayk says:

    I felt this way too when i first saw it.
    She can make this statement because she’s rich.

    • Kokiri says:

      Yes, & she was born rich. She was born with connections beyond belief.
      Her godmother is Dolly Parton, for heaven’s sake! Does it get any better than that?!

      So she can decide not to tour. Good for her.
      But she’s missing the real conversation here: that musicians are underpaid & they are still having to deal with their mental health & exhaustion because they have to tour.
      She’s is an ultra privileged position to shine a light on how mistreated & abusive the music industry is, but instead she focused on her ego.

      Well, Miley, your ego is still glaring at us so perhaps a bit more self reflection.

  7. Alicky says:

    She’s always so damn pretentious.

  8. Tila says:

    The ilk of her, Serena and Taylor are just too much for me. I’m in their age bracket but jeez. They are exhausting.

  9. Eurydice says:

    I wasn’t put off by this at all and it was clear to me what she was saying. You have to be the big star on stage and then switch it off when you’re off stage. Some performers can do it; she can’t and she recognizes it. There’s nothing unintentional in her saying this. As for other artists who may or may not want to tour, that’s their business – one person opting out isn’t going to change the entertainment landscape. Miley’s been performing since she was 14. I don’t know how much control she had over her life in earlier days, but she has it now and I don’t see what’s wrong with that.

    • Lala11_7 says:

      @Eurydice…you & me are the same regarding this….It’s good that she’s self aware & establishing healthy boundaries…it’s something I work on EVERYDAY❤️

    • Wilma says:

      Yes, agreed! I used to work at a local supermarket at the cash register and whenever people would say things like that they’d seen me walking the dog it would freak me out. We’re not all comfortable with being observed by strangers. Miley has been in the spotlights since before she truly knew herself and her idiosyncrasies and it’s perfectly fine and healthy to articulate her boundaries now she realizes what she needs.

    • otaku fairy says:

      Yeah, more elegant former child stars and pop stars probably feel the same way sometimes.

    • Shawna says:

      I’m with you on this. Wasn’t that whole show she did as a teenager about the whole “star” versus “normie” divide? She’s still battling it. Good luck, Miley!

    • BlueNailsBetty says:

      Same. She seems to be making a smart, protective decision for herself.

    • s808 says:

      Agreed! Later on in the interview, she goes over what her schedule was like
      when she was like 13 years old and it’s INSANE. Yes, she’s privileged but she’s been working her butt off since she was a child. If she can afford to cut off
      parts of her career that she finds harmful to her and her mental health,
      I’m not gonna judge her for that.

  10. Velvet Elvis says:

    Geez what a drama queen. I get that touring from city to city can be exhausting and tedious, but is it really that difficult to be “on” for an hour and a half a night without becoming some kind of detached monster? Try working a real job day after day after day, lady.

    • Kirsten says:

      Yes? Every job has challenges and is difficult in its own way, but she does have a real job and it is draining to have to everyone’s focus entirely on you. Then when you consider domestic + international legs of a tour, that can last for a year. She’s not belittling others’ work to say what’s tough for her.

    • Dutch says:

      Taylor Swift’s tour is the exception to the rule. Even someone who is successful as Miley has to perform four shows in four different cities a week. Each stop has some kind of local media obligation because you have one of those radio groups like iHeart as a tour sponsor, then there are always a couple of hours of VIP meet and greets before the show then you have to up the star wattage to give everyone their money’s worth, so you are more on than you are off. There’s a reason why bands throughout the history modern rock and pop have done their version of a “it’s tough to be a rock star” song Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page” Touring life is grind.

    • Kes says:

      Agreed. I’ve read for years and years and while this used to be a safe space for many subjects, it’s started to become the thing it was positioned against. It’s so echo chamber-y and the position is, “This is good because a person we like did it. This is bad because a person we don’t like did it.” Which is what tabloids and their ilk do.

  11. Girl says:

    Miley recognizes something negative about herself and takes personal responsibility for this. She doesn’t blame anyone but herself. With so many people in the world who won’t see their own flaws and/or won’t take any accountability, this article (and some of the commentors) still manage to be critical. What a weird world we live in.

    • Kokiri says:

      No, you’re right.
      This woman, born into privilege, handed a hit tv show & subsequent music tours from such (as Hannah), movies, endorsements, now a full in music career, all while having a nice enough voice & some talent, but not nearly what others have that didn’t have her advantages in life.
      I mean, she doesn’t have to tour so her ego stays under control, right?
      Good for her. That’s some level of self awareness, right there.

      • Memo says:

        Yep. Fair enough she’s not interested in touring now(and she can afford to make that choice…), but I don’t why people are blowing smoke up her backside for saying it. It’s not like it’s some profound insight she’s expressing,

        (Also I think “her ego being switched on” would be related to way more than touring.)

      • Boomboom says:

        I recently saw somewhere that some of her fans are worried that she’s joined some sort of cult? It sounded a lot like a sort of ‘conscious community’ thing. I’ve spent some time on the outskirts of one of those (whilst travelling, I spent a couple of months in an area with lots of western hippie dippie expats) and tbh, the idea of overcoming your ego was a big thing there, so this definitely sounds like a thought/talking point, she could have picked up there. I could see how she could feel that that would be at odds with touring, and generally think that a lot of what I experienced there, would be stuff that Miley would be drawn to. I also think that she is someone who, because of her past and being told who to be from such an early age would really struggle with connecting with herself (hence her reinventions every so often), if she felt that the path to connect with her true self would be through overcoming her ego, I could see how she would do anything in order to do that.

        Sorry, I’m not feeling a hundred percent today and definitely not very eloquent, but those are my two cents of armchair psychology.

  12. Bumblebee says:

    What’s great is Miley is successful and makes enough money that she can decide ‘I don’t like this part of my job and I’m going to stop doing it’.
    We need more women to have that freedom.

  13. Kokiri says:

    She’s looking more & more like her mother every day. This is not a compliment.
    She looks the same age as her mother, now. It’s disturbing.
    She also somewhat reminds me of grimes, not nearly as clever as she thinks.

  14. R says:

    IDK, I’d say, gave her some grace. At one point, she was the most famous teenager in the world. she’d made shit tons of money, but also having that kind of fame and expections put on her while she was just a kid, has defo messed with her. She was everywhere and overexposed. she needed to be perfect for her fans and media. People expected her to be this sweet virgin model for their kids and kids wanted/needed her to be this cool, relatable chick for most of her teens and early 20’s. Couple that with media frenzy and probably being overworked by Disney/her media team, it’s very possibly that she came to hate touring. Yes, she is in a very privileged position, to not having to tour, but I applaud her putting her mental health first. Touring makes her feel like the worst version of herself and she doesn’t want to put herself nor her team through that. Imagine knowing touring makes you the worst egotistical narcissist and putting yourself and your team through that for extra, extra more money. Nope, i’d applaud her. She’s enjoying her life and doing what she loves in a healthy way.

    • TurbanMa says:

      This is comment of the week for me right here. Thank you

      • R says:

        @Turbamna and @ATorontoGal, i just don’t get it. we say all the time that we have to respect women and their boundaries and how we have to do better by child stars like Miley and Brittany, yet the moment those overworked, overexposed former child stars assert themselves and put boundaries in place for their mental health, they’re labeled entitled and ungrateful. It’s not like she harms people by not touring, in fact it probably prevents a lot of problems. Imagine being someone at the tour/evement people, working for an unhappy, stressed out, anxious pop star. It can’t be fun for those folks either. a lot of artists have expressed how touring is exhausting, mentally and physically and plenty of them have cancelled for mental health reasons. like Bieber and Shawn Mendes. Good for the Taylor Swifts and Beyonces of this world, but not everyone is built for it and they shouldn’t expect people, rich pop stars or not to overstep their boundaries, putting their mental health in jeopardy in the name of entertainment.We can enjoy music without tours.

    • atorontogal says:

      @R – I completely agree with you. Didn’t JLo get away with not touring? From what I’ve read, touring can be a devastatingly lonely experience. One minute you’re standing before 10s of thousands of people screaming your name, singing your songs. Then the next, you’re alone in a hotel room. I can see where that would affect someone’s ego and mental merit.

      Side note: can someone please tell me who we can and can’t call out on this site?
      Some days it’s a no no to mention someone’s looks and others (like the comments on this post) you can absolutely rip someone’s looks.

      I tell you what, I look just like my mom and I’m thrilled. What a horrible thing to compare someone to their parent and say “that’s not a compliment”.

  15. Karen says:

    I don’t think she’s being “unintentionally revealing.” I think it’s very intentional. I think she’s admitting she knows her weaknesses/flaws, and right now touring really exacerbates them and then has a negative mental health impact on her, which then just perpetuates her attention-seeking. I think she’s kind of admitting that while other artists may be able to be fine…for her, she hasn’t figured out how to do it while also being able to take care of herself and not be an intolerable diva.

    • TurbanMa says:

      Yes! Beautifully said. Once you can feel your limits you can work on them in a healthy way if that’s what you want to do.

      • Deering24 says:

        She makes perfect sense (and I am hardly a Cyrus fan.) One of the major reasons pop artists flame out emotionally is being constantly on the road. It’s alienating, exhausting–and for someone trying to get her head together it can exaggerate all the temptations/pressures she’d normally be able to avoid. She’s been run ragged since she was a Disney kid; her awful family hasn’t helped; and for her to set boundaries and stand up for her health is terrific. A lot of stars don’t even get that far. And music history is full of artists who couldn’t handle touring–Brian Wilson, for one, who was a major introvert as well as a genius.

  16. Ameerah M says:

    She is insufferable. I think Miley is really talented. I enjoy a lot of her music (minus this new album which annoys me), but her tone deafness and entitlement has really overshadowed it. If Beyonce and Taylor can tour and do it in a way that is healthy for them – and Bey has KIDS. Then so can you hun. If you don’t want to tour- JUST SAY THAT. MJ famously hated touring. Most artists do. It’s grueling. I would have much more respect for her if she just said, “I hate touring, so I’m not doing a tour”. No need for all the self-important BS.

    • Twin Falls says:

      But she doesn’t hate touring?

      She can’t hold the performer Miley and the offstage Miley together comfortably in one head space and is discussing that what she loses of herself in order to be a performer on tour, wasn’t healthy, wasn’t a long term trade she was willing to make anymore. I’m not sure what the fact that other super successful female artists do tour has anything to do with Miley?

      • Ameerah M says:

        I said what I said. And yes it does sound like she hates touring – but instead of saying that she said a bunch of other stuff.

  17. TurbanMa says:

    What she says actually resonates and makes so much sense to me. For her she has to lean into a part of herself so completely to be able to do the huge performances that it sounds like she loses her ability to be in touch with who she is in her day to day life and as a songwriter. I’m a sensitive person, INFJ if you are into those personality types and what she’s saying is true for me as well. I feel things deeply and as a wife, mom, daughter, it’s easy for me to feel confused in just a regular corporate work world with who I am and how to be. Maybe something you have to experience to understand. But when you do the work to be who you truly are in your everyday existence I can understand knowing yourself enough to say doing this touring and the hype and who I have to be to pull it off just takes me too far away from who I know I am at my core… finally. Maybe sounds navel gazing to some but for sensitive people who can get lost in a rough world, protecting peace and happiness is important or we can easily become overwhelmed and feel existential dread. I’m obviously reading a lot into this because I see myself in her comments but I think it’s important to honor people when they say something is real for them and their experience.

  18. Veronica S. says:

    Celebrities are so dramatic LMAO. Just say you find them physically stressful and, since you have the benefit of financial success, you want to do fewer shows. Nobody cares, girl. It’s fine.

    She’s wrecking her features with the Botox and surgical work, though, which is a shame. It’s added ten years to her face. Hollywood is just aesthetically insane at this point.

  19. Tish says:

    I can’t get over how she ruined her looks with continuing to mess with her face. She was one example of veneers changing one’s whole face. Her real teeth were cute and fit her face. Now she looks horsey.

  20. girl_ninja says:

    She is just so insufferable. I hear what those of you are saying about her being self aware and taking care of herself and that’s fine. I just think she’s so lame. She reminds me of Paris Hilton, just another rich girl who comes from money and has used her name to make more money. And she’s said a lot of shitty things as a whole. Yuck. Just yuck.

  21. Bread and Circuses says:

    Many years ago, now, I said that Miley had always been rich and famous, and as a result, she won’t ever become an important artist (as distinct from a famous one) because she has never been hungry and, as a result, will never work very hard.

    I still think that, even though I’m also willing to believe there have been times in her life when she *was* worked extremely hard, thanks to other people being in control of her career. As an adult, however, I think she’s mainly been interested in staying famous and having a good time. She doesn’t seem to have drive to do much beyond that.

    Taylor Swift has also always been somewhat rich and had people helping her succeed from a young age. However, she legitimately did have that hunger and drive, and she has always worked very hard. If she’s dialing it back now, it’s because she knows that works better for her. As a result, Taylor has become an important artist (even if you don’t like her music) as well as a successful one.

    • Meagle says:

      Agree she’s insufferable, but she does actually work hard! I don’t like her pop stuff very much, but in terms of musicianship she blows Taylor Swift out of the water. Youtube some of the covers she’s done of say Zeppelin or Dolly Parton–they’re so good. She’s an amazing singer who’s clearly put a ton of effort into honing her craft. And she knows how to get her ego out of the way when she’s paying tribute to other people’s work at least.

  22. Eliza says:

    It’s frustrating because she is so actively pursuing fame and part of being a famous musician is acknowledging the role of fans by performing live every once in while. It’s kind of a job. And no, she doesn’t have to, and she is rich enough to not have to, but I think if you’re really courting a fandom it’s a nice quid pro quo.

  23. Lolalola says:

    She had an interview in British Vogue last year and when they asked about her marriage, her answer had nothing to do with the guy she dumped, no apology, no thought for anyone else but herself. I understand that its important at that age to figure out who you are, what you want but at some point, not considering how you effect and treat others makes you just a self-centered ninny. She’s gone down the drain with navel-gazing yet thinks its insight.

    • otaku fairy says:

      She owed him no public apology and he didn’t owe her one either. They were two childless twenty-somethings who separated and got with other people.

  24. Inge says:

    Maybe you should stop dissing Miley for putting her mental health first and remember all the people from the 27 club

  25. Lolagirl says:

    Reading these comments makes me kind of sad. I saw a distinct line being drawn between Miley seeing herself as the person vs the performer. The performer is surrounded by people who say yes all the time, who are there to cater to your every whim. The performer works so hard, sure, but they are also held up to a ridiculous standard. I can imagine it is dehumanizing. A good friend is a medium famous touring musician and I went on a several weeks tour with him once – it’s grueling, uncomfortable hard work. I was dismayed by the intensity of the adulation thrown his way – people think they KNOW you and that you owe them something. I can’t imagine how much that is amplified at the level that Miley is operating. I wish her gentleness and the continued ability to draw lines where necessary.

  26. TheBayTea says:

    Good for her. She doesn’t owe us anything.

    I read she did a 72 show tour while also filming Hannah Montana as a kid. Sounds absolutely exhausting.