In the visuals for her newly released single, the pop star tearfully reflected on her adolescence as she sang, "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."
However, her tears weren't an act. As the 30-year-old explained in an ABC special that aired shortly before her song's big debut on Aug. 25, she got "super emotional" and actually cried on set.
"I'm kind of a mini-me of my mom," she explained, recalling how she had a livestream set up with Tish Cyrus on set so they could see each other during the shoot. "I could see her inside the camera...and, as she was dancing, it just made me cry."
Remembering how Tish also "made me laugh," Miley said the entire experience "brought up so many real emotions."
The singer added of the final product of the music video, "It's really letting people into true emotions, which I don't feel like you get to see very much of these days."
But the waterworks didn't stop there. Elsewhere in the special, Miley got teary-eyed while speaking about her dad Billy Ray Cyrus, who Tish divorced in 2022 after nearly 30 years of marriage.
"My dad grew up the opposite of me," she shared. "I grew up on a sound stage, in a house with a family that was super close and all lived under the same roof. I grew up financially stable and emotionally stable in my relationships also—and that's something that my dad didn't have."
Miley continued, "I've seen how that affects a lot of people that go from having nothing to everything. It's a really dangerous place, so I think that's where me and my dad's relationship to fame and success is wildly different. Him feeling loved by a big audience impacted him emotionally more than it ever could me."
According to the Disney Channel alum, who co-starred on Hannah Montana with Billy Ray for four seasons from 2006 to 2011, "When he feels special or important, it's like healing a childhood wound, and I've always been made to feel like a star."
"It makes me emotional," she added, before dabbing some tears from her eyes. "I do have some great memories singing music with my dad."
One of the reasons Miley chose to release "Used to Be Young" on Aug. 25 was that the date coincided with her dad's 62nd birthday. "I wrote this song two years ago and have been producing it ever since because, as I was going through my own metamorphosis and evolution, the song had to grow and shift with me," she said of the ballad during her ABC special. "It's optimistic and there's a sadness. It's allowing sadness and joy to be happening simultaneously."
For example, Miley said, "like you're going through heartbreak and you're performing at Glastonbury."
"I'm brokenhearted," recalled the "Wrecking Ball" artist, who played the festival in 2019—the same year her ex Liam Hemsworth filed for divorce, "but I'm really fulfilled, and both of those things are allowed to be simultaneously happening."
For more tidbits about Miley's life, keep reading.